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Black Lava – Soul Furnace

Black Lava
Soul Furnace
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 December 2022, 6:18 AM

From Bandcamp, “During the turbulent and uncertain years of 2020-2021, perhaps none were plunged deeper into darkness than those from down under. However, through solitude and desolation, some of the greatest art is created, as is the case with BLACK LAVA, the emerging Blackened Death Metal quartet from Melbourne (AU). Founded by drummer Dan Presland and guitarist Ben Boyle, BLACK LAVA draws influence from old school Death and Black Metal bands while injecting groove-laden melodies and Progressive elements to create their own experimental sound.” The album has nine songs.

“Origins” is the first. Following some tense clean opening tones, the main riff is heavy and oozes that Black Metal sound. The signature sound of Presland’s drums is what is next, and the weighted march from there segues into “Aurora.” The song bends a few different genres, and the shouted vocals have an almost Hardcore edge to them. The groove can be immediately felt. “Black Blizzard” is a little faster and heavier out of the gate. Like any good blizzard, the chaos that surrounds it noteworthy. Those bent guitar rhythms are bossy as well, tying in some Progressive elements with the ending meaty and fuzzy bass notes.

“Baptised in Ice” begins with a groove that will get your head banging along with it. Harrowing vocal screams follow, along with some subtle meter shifts. The punishing weight of the songs is very evident. “Eye of the Moon” features a slower, more desolate sound. The bottom end is thick and fills in all of the cracks. This song has a more noticeable Black Metal sound. “Northern Dawn” creeps up on you like the namesake, rising slowly and consuming the landscape. Punishing, evil rhythms with razor cuts are augmented with rich drum fills and frightening vocals. This might be the best song on the album. “Necrocatacomb” is a shorter blast of dissonant rhythms and a steady moving drum beat. The vocals are whispered at first, then come lashing out. It begins to level a bit from there, with peaks of rage.

Progressive elements come out more in “Nightshade,” along with a choking Black and Death Metal sound. Dissonant elements rise from there. The title track closes the album. It might be the darkest and most dangerous song on the album. Fat, chunky rhythms combine with horrible vocal screams at times, followed by tense, clean passages. It’s the monster under your bed that you can’t see until it’s too late. Overall, this album was excellent. The genre bending is probably the best part, followed by ample, infectious grooves. If you are familiar with Dan Presland’s past work in NE OBVLIVISCARIS, don’t expect it to sound like that. Expect instead a sound that ranges from desolate to raging and back again.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Origins
2. Aurora
3. Black Blizzard
4. Baptised in Ice
5. Eye of the Moon
6. Northern Dawn
7. Necrocatacomb
8. Nightshade
9. Soul Furnace
Dan Presland – Drums
Ben Boyle – Guitar
Rob Watkins – Vocals
Tim Anderson – Bass
Record Label: Season of Mist Records


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