Let’s just put something to rest that needs to be said.
There are a large majority of quote-unquote “metalheads” that have this issue of automatically panning something based off the genre they believe something to be a part of. It’s one of the stupidest things I think a “fan” of heavy music can do. There are so many bands you could like or not like in each of these sub-genres that just giving yourself a wall of dislike right off the bat is the music equivalent to discrediting a whole group of people based on their ethnicity. So knock it the fuck off.
That being side, there are a contingent of folks who automatically dislike anything close to deathcore or djent because they think they’ll hate it no matter what. But at Metal Made Fitness we review metal and heavy shit for two reasons: Will it be awesome during a workout and is it good? So far this last calendar year we have found two groups that transcend these genres. Humanity’s Last Breath and Black Tongue. And while Humanity’s Last Breath is currently crushing the supposed group of Meshuggah “djentcore” clones with their patent style of industrial-forged, mechanical off-kilter deathcore and djent in ways I can barely begin to describe (though we tried here), Black Tongue has released their new full length, The Unconquerable Dark, and through the power vested in me, I now pronounce your world completely pulverized.
Black Tongue, with only a few releases under their belt, are such a force of destruction that atomic bombs cower in their presence. On their first release, Falsifier, they came out of the corner swinging violent lefts and rights of pure raw heaviness. Like many bands in the “beatdown” or “deathcore” genre they could have just opted to stay the course. But on the Born Hanged EP, they matured, progressed and started honing in on their target sound. The result was one of the heaviest six tracks of music ever recorded. Where do they go from that?
The Unconquerable Dark is a group of musicians putting the genre clones in a box and running them over with a Mac truck. As they pin their sound as “doomcore” we can only agree to this concept 100%. Slow, methodical annihilation. Brutal sludge pouring on you, suffocating you to death. The largest boot in the world stomping on humanity. From the opening track, “Plague Worship”, the band is almost daring you to continue on. As if to say “do you have any idea what you’re getting yourself into here?” If you listened to Born Hanged and you know our opinions on the record, you know we view this band as melting the heaviest form of slow modern sludge metal and fellow British band Pitchshifter’s first album “Industrial”. How? The single string echos filling the background and your ears in general, giving the impression of a desperate attempt to breath among the overwhelming sonic assault, and the feedback in certain parts literally make your bones ache.
But it’s the overall strength of the composition here that is remarkable for the genre others have placed Black Tongue into. There is enough complexity and vibe in the songs, such as “L’appel du Vide” and “Vermintide” (featuring absolutely ridiculously awesome guest vocals from Eddie via Suicide Silence) to draw you in, and enough out-of-nowhere dynamics to surprise you with a bat to the face. “The Masquerade” and “The Pale Procession: Death March” dupes you into a Godflesh-esq “Perfect Skin” vibe and brings you back into the trademark Black Tongue violence. The production on this record is big enough to need its own time zone. Clear and even with a low-end that moves tectonic plates in a jarring motion.
Some bands like to leave you quivering heap after 30 seconds of machine gun fire. Black Tongue take their time to saw you in half. If you love heavy music, crushing music, QUALITY music, genres be damned! Own The Unconquerable Dark and it will, by the disc’s end, own you.