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Black Anvil – Regenesis

Black Anvil
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 December 2022, 4:56 AM

From Bandcamp, “Nearly six years after their last album made its mark, BLACK ANVIL is returning with its aptly titled fifth full-length, “Regenesis.”  With a new record label, a new album, and a newfound exploration of dark and Black Metal, the album represents a new dawn for the New York City collective. Make no mistake, “Regenesis” is not a departure from the band’s identity, but rather serves as the latest progression in the band’s ever-evolving sound. The unrelenting and polished aggression hangs in the balance above dark melodic passages, presenting a dynamic soundscape that serves as the band’s most devastating and existential offering to date.” The album has 12 songs.

“The Gates of Brass” is a short instrumental opener. “In Two” is the first proper song. It’s fairly straightforward Black Metal, but with developed riffs rather than the wall that is so common in the genre. The backing clean vocals are also nice. “The Bet” features a similar sound…ardent Black Metal vocals with backing cleans and some riff variations. There is also a guitar solo, which is uncommon, but the blueprint here is becoming fairly predictable. “29” is another similar sound. Almost half-way in, and we have a repetitive album without much originality. “Silver & Steele” is a slower song that moves with a depressing sound along with some clean vocals. It’s a nice departure from the standard Black Metal sound so far. “Echoes & Tapestry” does have a bit of variation but not enough to counter the traditional Black Metal sound. There are some meaty bass notes and clean vocals, for example, but again, they are not enough.

“NYC Nightmares” is closer to the mark, especially with all the solemn cleans and sober elements. If only they could develop this sound some more…imagine where they could go. It’s too easy to hang onto the blueprint of the past, however. The title track closes the album. It’s loaded with too many harsh elements, and not enough sounds of despair; the same problem that plagues the rest of the album. To say that I was disappointed in this album is a bit of an understatement. I figured Season of Mist is a strong label in the scene, so they would not take on any mediocre bands. But that’s exactly what this album is. Just OK, but nothing special. If they had taken the time to really diversify and expand the backing elements, it could have gone from mediocre to at least good…maybe better. There are moments of brilliance, but they are few and far between.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 2
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. The Gates of Brass
2. In Two
3. The Bet
4. 8-bit Terror
5. 29
6. Silver & Steele
7. Castrum Doloris
8. Echoes & Tapestry
9. VV
10. NYC Nightmares
11. Grant Us His Love
12. Regenesis
R – Drums
P – Bass/Vocals
J – Guitar
Record Label: Season of Mist Records


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