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Black, The: Alongside Death

Inverted cross on a black background; sounds like my type of thing! Alongside Death from the trio called The Black was part of Pulverized's batch received recently, and this was another good surprise.

This album is not the label's usual fast and vicious Black Metal, even if this disc also makes use of that weapon here and there. The general feel of this Black Metal CD is melodic, and the slightly raw production gives it a certain old school vibe. Even if this album starts off as a ferocious beast in the first couple tracks, a better style starts to unveil starting from "A Contrast Written in Ashes". On this track, some ambient passage precedes the distorted arpeggios and the moderate pace. More arpeggios and crushing riffs follow on "Dead Seed"; one of the best compositions on this album. This crunchy madness is continuing its devastating work throughout the album. "Death Throes" is the best work to be heard on Alongside Death . "The Wrath From Beneath" appears out of place though; being an ambient/electronics instrumental.

All and all, Alongside Death is a pretty safe investment for a Black Metal fan.

Track listing:
1 - On the Descent to Hell
2 - Death Crown
3 - A Contract Written in Ashes
4 - Dead Seeds
5 - Fleshless
6 - Death Throes
7 - The Wrath From Beneath
8 - Alongside Death

Added: September 15th 2009
Reviewer: Denis Brunelle
Related Link: Pulverized Records
Hits: 1599
Language: english

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Black, The: Alongside Death
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-09-15 09:46:23
My Score:

They often say that mimickry is the simplest form of the case of the black metal band The Black, their latest CD Alongside Death makes no bones about their love of Marduk and Mayhem, among the cream of the crop of classic Swedish and Norwegian black metal. What is interesting though is that The Black have instead decided to focus on the more atmospheric & melodic styles of these two acts, so instead of 'million miles an hour riffs and blast beats', you instead have a varied and expansive sound here throughout Alongside Death. Slow, agonizing riffs mix with some speedier tremelo picked excursions, pounding, almost doomy drum work meshes with familar blast beats, and tortured black metal wailing make up the majority of the eight all too short tracks here. In fact, that's my major beef here-it's not that these are not enjoyable black metal numbers, on the contrary, this is all well played and intense extreme metal that not only reminds of some of the legends of the genre but gives us some insight into what The Black are all about. However, each tune starts and ends so quickly, sometimes quite suddenly, that it takes some of the fun out of the whole experience.

Next time guys, give us a little more meat with your potatoes and really let us enjoy the meal.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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