I press the play button: a second of silence and then…a red faced and demented man is screaming “restless, my being screams love” (I think) and then a bloody big discordant chord rings out, accompanied with dirty thick bass and slothful drums hit about as hard as Tyson used to punch when he was twenty one. This is the first track, ‘Prison of the Cross’. Black Sun hail from Glasgow and they sound pissed off. Vocalists Russell & Kevin are coughing their fucking hearts out all over this one like they mean it, and that makes all the difference, because they do. The track grinds and cracks and lurches along like a dying machine. This is pain in musical form.
After five gruelling minutes of Black Sun wrestling with their inner anger we have a respite, the instruments quieten, and the singing ‘sweetens’. The sound here is sparse. Not for long. The screams start again. Black Sun buckle and splutter under the weight of their own desperation. The singer is yelling “go away”, repeatedly, amongst other words. I now imagine the strained and sweating faces of the band members to look like they’re being anally raped by a gang of priapic rednecks.
‘Prison of the Cross’ rises now, the scraping guitar is blurring and spitting. It ends as it began, Russell & Kevin are screaming again like a pair of shit stained rabid schizo’s. The whole nasty journey was nineteen minutes long. I need some fresh air. And maybe a cheese and onion baguette.
‘Hammer the Nails’ continues the assault, for six tortuous minutes. It’s very, very fucking heavy and distorted and sounds like a giant industrial jack hammer smashing up and down in a filthy foundry somewhere. I can obviously hear (and see) elements of Godflesh, Swans and Prong and other huge bands, but Black Sun’s influences don’t own their music, Black Sun do. This is their own violent metal, borne out of drunken brutality and dead end lives.
Third and last track, ‘Paralyser (Dub Mix)’ does not detract in any way from the relentless brutality of the rest of the album. This track literally creaks and groans, the instruments combine to sound like a monolithic asthma attack. Growls are put through a pitch shifter and at points electronic distortion warps the track into a laboured nightmare. Anal rape is back on the menu. The band surely die at the end of the recording. The end.
Black Sun take strains from industrial metal, hardcore, doom, sludge and experimental noise, and mix it up with their own desperate take on life and love and hate and come up with a sound you cannot possibly ignore. All three members (Russell McEwan, Kevin Hare and Graeme Leggate) have an absolute mastery and confidence of their instruments (the drumming is particularly remarkable), and operate as a single brutal unit. As a final word, the sound of Black Sun is way nastier than anything some comical black metal band could muster up, and reminds me of a bleak quote from Orwell’s “1984”: “you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face…forever”.
Review based on a promotional CDr kindly sent in by At War With False Noise and is available now on LP limited to 500 copies.
Scribed by: Adam Stone