BLACK ANVIL - Hail Death

Black Anvil - Hail Death

10 songs
71:43 minutes
***** ****
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Black Anvil is a trio from New York which in 2007 arose from the ashes of the hardcore band Kill Your Idols. The past has not left musical traces though, as Black Anvil are quite the rustic black metal band that is open for other styles occasionally. After Time Insults The Mind and Triumvirate, Hail Death is the third album of the three raucous guys.

The album cover could have turned out somewhat more appetising, as it looks like promising a low budget production. The generous running time of over seventy minutes also filled me with doubts, making me wonder if the band is trying to do more than they are able to. But soon enough I was taught better, as Hail Death is one of the most exciting extreme metal albums I have come across in a long time. Although the songs are sometimes more than seven minutes long, they are brimming with ideas so that listening wonít become a chore anytime soon. Most of the time the band is opting for ultra-fast thrash with rasping vocals, but they are not afraid of allowing for quieter or more playful moments. This doesnít mean that the band sounds any less extreme. No matter what pace the band is playing, it is commendable how the musicians keep track of the material. Some melancholic parts, like Until The End, remind of mid-period Bathory and are also a working great. The rocking part on Seven Stars Unseen is another pleasant surprise. The shortly titled N is the most dragging track on the album, but its gloomy and threatening atmosphere fits perfectly with Black Anvilís image. Next Level Black, with twelve minute the longest track, shows the band showing off their entire repertoire, including a long guitar solo. I could have done only without the cover version of Kissí Under The Rose. First of all this is not really one of the bandís classics, and furthermore Black Anvil donít stray enough from the original. I much prefer the bandís own songs and suggest that the trio should put all their energies in that direction.

Thanks to fantastic riffs, structures and pace changes, Hail Death has become a really strong album. Black Anvil show in a very convincing way that even nowadays, a decades old genre like black metal can stay fresh. You get more than an hour of prime quality extreme metal, and there should be no more doubts that Black Anvil can be counted among the greats of their genre.

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