Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black Bleeding - The Awakening

Nihilistic Holocaust recently put out a new CD version The Awakening, a 2005 EP from Belgians Black Bleeding. I was skeptical since I was not a huge fan of A Bright Future, which I felt surged with comedic black thrash that lacked seriousness. This older record, however, is a far cry from what sounded like Gamma Bomb doing their best death metal impression. Now, I'm not exactly how much more serious the actual content here is, because the layout notes that "this release is not hand-numbered because Oussama broke our fingers," and there is a rather silly band photo included but at least it sounds more assertive and angry.

"One With The Universe" has a mid-paced opening chugging riff that expands into more melodic and rhythmic brutality. Including a whammy solo and several transitions that work well in the song, this is the highlight of the record for me. Guitarist and vocalist Alexandre Pomes is at his best in this song in regards to his vocals which are often low and guttural. He tosses in some higher raspy spits and sputterings as well now and then. Opener "The Sleeper Has Awakened" twists through some different tremolo and more bludgeoning riffs with rather intense blasting and drumming courtesy of drummer Balmuzette, who is impressive throughout.

"Demonic Quantum Boundaries" ends the record in massive fashion. The ten minute long epic eclipses several musical ideas. Opening with a "Planet Caravan"-esque genesis before launching itself into stark blasts. The song then sifts through some interesting pinch harmonic slow sections mid-way through before culminating in a few minutes of synth which, in all honesty, is very enjoyable on it's own beginning at the six-minute mark. The variety here is evidence of more potentially interesting compositions from the band and possible experimentation tendencies which I never really discerned from A Bright Future.

I much prefer this style to the less intense modern material. Black Bleeding here sound more like a less technical version of Incantation instead of a second-rate thrash band trying to play death metal. The band claims that they are death black metal on the back of the booklet but I don't get a whole lot of black metal influence. If it is there, it is far overshadowed by the death metal. Perhaps at times the record galumphs, and "Proxima Centauri" hints at the less virulent material you'll find on more recent releases, but The Awakening is a sturdy release shying away from the detrimental elements that seeped through to the forefront. Those interested in the band would perhaps be best off starting with The Awakening and working backwards through their previous material. I can't speak for The Great Satan, their 2009 record, though.

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