BLACK LAVA Conduct a Perfect Storm on The Savage Winds to Wisdom

Conduct a Perfect Storm on
The Savage Winds to Wisdom
Blackened, grooving heavy metal from members of Vipassi, Hadal Maw and Ne Obliviscaris

“A fantastic album…wrapped up in a package that is so tight, you couldn’t squeeze in between the layers if you were as thin as paper.” – Metal Temple

“Practically forces you to headbang” – Metal Injection

“Familiar yet undeniably creative, heavy and a clear statement in the darkness of music” – Metal Roos

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Black Lava – ‘The Savage Winds to Wisdom’ (Official Album Stream)

Just two years removed from their smoldering debut, BLACK LAVA are once again ready to erupt. The Savage Winds to Wisdom spills from the band’s sacred cauldron of influences. Blackened countermelodies and hexing prog rhythms boil amidst old-school death metal. Only this time, these Australian sorcerers have added a heavy dose of atmosphere, conjuring medieval fantasies that are bound to whisk metalheads straight into the pit.

The Savage Winds to Wisdom comes out this Friday, July 12 on Season of Mist, but you can get blown away by all nine gale-force songs today by listening to the full album stream on Season of Mist’s YouTube channel.

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Though they formed during pandemic lockdown, Black Lava came together with the ease of a natural stream. When he’s not touring with Ne Obliviscaris, Dan Presland also drums alongside Hadal Maw guitarist Ben Boyle in the labyrinthine all-instrumental band Vipassi. Those two have crossed paths with vocalist Rob Watkins around Melbourne’s metal underground for the past decade. But the band took their time summoning The Savage Winds to Wisdom. It’s not until opener “Colour of Death” has bubbled to a nice, sludgy head that Watkins unleashes the first of his many blood-soaked roars.

“There was greater care taken with the compositions”, Boyle says. “There’s more layering to the riffs and melodies. We called on a more broad list of inspirations and tones to give the album a greater sense of balance while keeping the same attention to detail. The Savage Winds to Wisdom is the kind of album that lends itself to repeat listens”.

“Unsheathing Nightmares” lures you in before hooking its claws into your skull. The drums crash and rumble behind clouds of buzzing distortion, only for a riff to reign down with the crushing force of an executioner. You can practically hear Watkins’ eyes rolling into the back of his head as he calls upon an ancient evil amidst hellish, rain-soaked ambience. “Speak to me, O silent one” .

“I try and stay true to the spirit of metal”, Watkins says about crafting lyrics. “For ‘Ironclad Sarcophagus’, I pictured this ancient wizard sending out evil vibes into the world in hopes of tricking someone into opening his coffin”. The video for the album’s lead single also has more to it than meets the eye. What appears to be just another Satanic ritual turns on a knife’s edge into something even more bloody and sinister.

The Savage Winds to Wisdom swirls with a deeper and darker sense of atmosphere, but the album still cuts all the way to the bone. The towering riff on “Dark Legacy” reigns down nothing but dread. “There’s more depth to this album, but it still stays true to what we set out to do with Black Lava: create heavy, energetic and catchy tunes that make our listeners feel powerful”.

Winding over the course of seven eventful minutes, the title track is big enough to stand as its own mythical kingdom. Stirred by a screeching solo from Ne Obliviscaris’ Ben Baret, the song whirls into a torrential finale that makes The Savage Winds to Wisdom a perfect storm of blackened, groove-laden heavy metal.

“We sharpened our tools with this album”, Black Lava says. “The Savage Winds to Wisdom is a step up in all aspects. We went a little more dark and brutal and that’s exactly where we want to take our music”.

Like any good sorcerer, Black Lava cast a wicked array of spells. Dan Presland, Ben Boyle and Rob Watkins treated Outburn magazine to a list of the band’s most potent influences and most punishing songs.

Read Black Lava’s Influences & Essentials:

Black Lava – “Ironclad Sarcophagus” (Official Music Video)
Black Lava – “Unsheathing Nightmares” (Official Music Video)
1. Colour of Death (6:44)
2. Dark Legacy (4:08) [LISTEN]
3. Wrapped in Filth (4:03)
4. Unsheathing Nightmares (4:45) [WATCH]
5. Summoning Shadows (6:03)
6. Ironclad Sarcophagus (4:08) [WATCH]
7. Pagan Dust (4:46)
8. Sanguis Lupus (5:21)
9. The Savage Winds to Wisdom (7:07)
Total runtime: 47:12Style: Blackened Heavy Metal
FFO: Entombed, Behemoth, VLTIMAS
Photo by Joe Ritson

Not even the most stifling period in recent history could contain Black Lava. Despite being kept under strict lockdown during the pandemic, these Aussies were just stewing together, waiting to erupt. Now, only two years removed from their smoldering debut, the band are roaring back with even more mythical firepower on The Savage Winds to Wisdom.

“Our second album is a step up from the first in all aspects”, drummer Dan Presland says. “We took more time on the songwriting. The Savage Winds to Wisdom shows exactly where we want to take our music”.

Though possessed by an ancient and mysterious alchemy, Black Lava formed with the ease of a natural spring. Over the past decade, all four members have crossed paths around the various corners of Melbourne’s metal underground. On top of their progressive all-instrumental vision quests in Vipassi, Presland also drums alongside Hadal Maw guitarist Ben Boyle in the grinding, tech-death, underground curiosity A Million Dead Birds Laughing. But when the two got together to blow off steam amidst quarantine at Presland’s newly minted home studio, they were pleasantly surprised by the darkness that swept over these jam sessions.

“Both of us were dealing with a lot of pent-up frustrations”, Presland remembers. A few weeks before, his flight home from America (where he was supposed to track the drums for Ne Obliviscaris’ fourth album Exul) touched down hours before Australia closed its borders. “But that anger, coupled with our need to keep creating, led us in a different direction”.

Progressive metal was still a clear undercurrent, but the songs that came spewing out were unusually heavy. Death and black metal held more sway, though sludgy rock n’ roll also found its way into the mix. Such a peculiar range of influences required a vocalist with a very particular set of pipes. Fortunately, Rob Watkins jumped at the opportunity to reunite with Presland, who was the drummer in their thrash band Metalstorm. With Watkins’ Blackhelm bassist Tim Anderson added to the fold, Black Lava burst onto the scene in 2022 with their smoldering debut.

Soul Furnace more than lives up to those lofty expectations”, Distorted Sound hailed, “proving to not only be a late contender for album of the year, but also one of the more impressive debut albums of recent years”.

Black Lava wasted no time in keeping the juices flowing. The band was already hard at work on their second album while the first one was hot on the shelves. The Savage Winds to Wisdom stirs from the same cauldron of influences. Lead single “Ironclad Sarcophagus” echoes from the crypt with eerie countermelodies and a rhythm section that’s more bewitching than a spell book.

“I pictured this ancient wizard sending out evil vibes into the world in hopes of tricking someone into opening his coffin”, Watkins says. “When writing lyrics, I try and stay true to the spirit of metal. But really, I’m just channeling how the music makes me feel”.

If Soul Furnace was like stumbling upon the entrance to an ancient cave, then The Savage Winds to Wisdom is a fiery, full-blown descent into the belly of the beast. “Dark  Legacy” rings through the long black night with one sustained roar of a guitar roar, like an angry, one-eyed ogre. But while the songs came quickly, with Presland and Boyle carving out monstrous riffs and scaly grooves for Watkins to splatter his medieval fantasies, Black Lava took their time with this album. It’s not until nearly three minutes into the opening number, after “Colour of Death” has boiled to a full headbang, that the first of its many horns-up roars is unleashed.

“There was greater care taken with compositions on The Savage Winds to Wisdom”, Boyle says. “There’s more depth and layering to the riffs and melodies. Calling on a more broad list of inspirations and tones, the album has a real sense of balance, a certain quality that will lend itself to repeat listens and attention to detail, while still staying true to what Black Lava set out to do; create heavy, yet energetic and catchy anthemic tunes that tell a story and emanate a sense of atmosphere and power for the listener.”

True to its name, The Savage Winds to Wisdom swirls within a deeper and darker sense of atmosphere. Whereas before their bang-bang approach to songwriting resembled something closer to a punk rock band, this time around, Black Lava concentrated more on atmosphere. “Unsheathing Nightmares” reveals its root source of terror in careful layers, mutating from raw black metal and razor-sharp tech-death into a rainy, ambient  hellscape. “That’s one of the songs that really excited me”, says Watkins, who calls upon a coven of witches by digging into the slimier depths of his baritone.

The title track is big enough to stand alone as its own self-contained world. Winding  over the course of seven eventful minutes, it’s the longest and perhaps most ambitious song in Black Lava’s musical geology. Blast beats pound like hail beneath waves of distortion that crash with the force of a monsoon. “The silents of fate” Watkins reckons, like a sea captain stranded among the wreckage.  “The thousand winds swirl the soul”. Swept up by a screeching solo from special guest Ben Baret (Ne Obliviscaris), the song whirls into an unstoppable force, a torrential finale that brings this album to a truly epic conclusion.

“We sharpened our tools with this album”, the band says. “We went a little more brutal and that sets the tone for where we’ll head in the future.

On The Savage Winds to Wisdom, Black Lava conduct a perfect storm.

Recording Line-up:
Dan Presland (drums)
Ben Boyle (guitar)
Ben Boyle (bass)
Rob Watkins (vocals)

Guest Musician:
Benjamin Baret (Ne Obliviscaris, Vipassi) plays the guitar solo on “The Savage Winds to Wisdom”.

Live Line-up:
Dan Preslans (drums)
Ben Boyle (guitar)
Nick Rackham (bass)
Rob Watkins (vocals)

Recording Studio:
Bushido Studios in Melbourne, Australia

Producer & Sound Engineer:
Troy Mccosker

Mastering, Mixing & Engineering:
Studio Fredman and Fredrick Nordstrom

Cover Art:
Paolo Girardi

Follow Black Lava:

Available Formats:
Digital Download
CD Digipack
12″ Vinyl Gatefold – Black
12″ Colored Vinyl Gatefold – Gold W/ Silver Splatters