BLKLST are a band hailing from Melbourne, Australia who only recently formed in 2015. Labelling themselves as a cross between hardcore and nu-metal and following on from their strong debut EP release ‘Blacklist’ in 2015, new EP ‘Hard To Swallow’ is set to build on that consistency.
What’s important to note is that even for a seven track and 19-minute release, there’s an awful lot going on here.
‘Psycho’ instantly hits you with a large stick as eerily heavy guitar riffs from James Gracie and Evan Lee are combined with Joshua Westwick‘s emotively-strained vocals repeatedly stating “You make me sick”, whilst ‘Hypocrite’ ramps up the diversity considerably by interspersing spoken word dialogue with nu-metal melodies, harrowing screams, and Drue Herring‘s interesting drum fill segments. It’s not unlike recent material from King 810 and Parkway Drive.
Despite being partly tagged as nu-metal, BLKLST are keen to show their progressive chops, whether it’s a change of pace and haunting vocal performance from Westwick on ‘Phase’, or an all-out 90-second assault on the senses showcased on ‘Dressed To The Nines’. A play on words it may be, but ‘Donnie Narco’ certainly has a sinister undertone running throughout the song, with plenty of interesting hooks to keep you engaged.
The final track, ‘Need You, Pt. 2’, is the continuation from ‘Need You’, which you can find on 2016’s two-track ’11/11′ filler release. The atmosphere builds up considerably during its running time, and every band member gives a very poignant and fitting performance to close out this EP.
Despite the brevity of ‘Hard To Swallow’, the resulting output shows a level of energy and gusto that could start to signal exciting times for BLKLST. If they manage to make the trip across the pond for a couple of tours and look to increase the scope of their Slipknot-meets-King 810 nu-metal infused hardcore blueprint, they could well be one to watch in the future.
After getting into alternative music during the mid 90s with the rise of nu-metal and pop-punk, I’ve gradually spread my interests far and wide and have a real love for metalcore, prog metal and tech metal. Amongst other things, I am a husband, father of two amazing kids, heavy metal DJ, and video game/book/nerd enthusiast!