mon 15/07/2024

Album: BlackLab - Abyss | reviews, news & interviews

Album: BlackLab - Abyss

Album: BlackLab - Abyss

Japanese dark witch doom duo cast a very heavy spell

Abyss: doom witchery

Abyss is the second disc by Osaka’s self-proclaimed “dark witch doom” duo BlackLab, but their first album proper, and it certainly delivers the monster sounds that were only hinted at by the compilation of impossible to find, early releases, Under the Strawberry Moon 2.0. In fact, BlackLab’s latest is a feral beast that bulldozes all before it like a true force of nature.

Loud and distorted guitars, thunderous drumming and howling, banshee-like vocals burst out of the speakers like a caged animal set free and encourage the volume to be turned up to 11 right from the first notes. For this is heavy music with a purpose that never strays into aimless cacophonous noise.

Occupying the sonic middle ground between fellow Japanese noise terrorists Melt Banana and Boris, guitarist and singer Yuko Morino and drummer Chia Shiraishi may look demur and unassuming but they unleash something seriously weighty once they plug in and will having those people still mourning the demise of Black Sabbath sitting up and paying full attention. Opening track, “Insanity” especially conjures up the ghosts of Birmingham’s finest with its raw and uncompromising power, demonic drumming and Yuko’s unhinged screaming. “Sleepness Night” is like the soundtrack to a Viking raid, while “Sun” feels like being caught in the most destructive of hurricanes with explosive cymbals, juddering riffs and an artillery barrage of percussion.

Abyss is full of fuzz-heavy doom mantras that ache to be experienced live in a dark and humid room on a sound system that has no truck with modern health and safety volume restrictions. In fact, BlackLab were due to play their first ever show outside Japan at London’s Desert Festival in May, however, COVID-19 has obviously put the kibosh on that. It just has to be hoped that their visit can be rearranged as soon as possible.

BlackLab’s latest is a feral beast that bulldozes all before it like a true force of nature


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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