It’s safe to say that metal isn’t exactly in the best commercial state at the moment, but self-styled doomcore outfit Black Tongue are proof that the underground scene is thriving, and always will, even without the help of industry bigwigs. Here they are with their new album, ‘Nadir’, and Halloween couldn’t have been a more appropriate day for an album of this ilk to be released.
Critics have labelled them as deathcore in the past, but that’s a bit of a disservice when you consider both how tired the deathcore formula became in the early 2010s and the potency of this record. Opener ‘The Eternal Return To Ruin’ is particularly demonstrative of their sludgy, moody offerings. The emphasis placed on the slower sections is proof that the impact is even more devastating when employed in this way.
Fans will no doubt be whipped up into a frenzy at their live shows with the mosh call of “I want you all to suffer” in ‘Second Death’, which is also assisted by a particularly menacing guitar tone from the moment the song starts.
And, to vary the sound palette even more, there are industrial inspired sections on show as well. Of course, this is a little more commonplace following the impact of Code Orange‘s ‘Forever’, but for now, let’s enjoy it.
The blast beat sections scattered across ‘Nadir’ also provide another string to Black Tongue‘s menacing bow, namely in ‘Contrapasso’, which gets pretty close to The Black Dahlia Murder-style territory.
The deranged ending of ‘Parting Soliloquy’, in the form of electronic squeals combined with a desperate plea of “Please don’t leave me here”, is arguably the most intense moment on the entire record. A bit more of that, please. Even if it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Further flexing their creative muscle, a good portion of the almost goth-sounding ‘A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh’, led by a croon combined with a minimal backing, is a great way to give us a brief rest from the assault that’s come before.
Sometimes you still feel like this could do with a little more fat-trimming, but this is a firm reminder that the extreme metal scene has plenty of life in it. At best, ‘Nadir’ is like finding an unusually satisfying thrill in being struck by a boulder repeatedly, offering diversity and complete sonic annihilation in equal measure.