BLACK LAVA Conjure Fresh Doom on Unsheathing Nightmares 

Conjure Fresh Doom on
Unsheathing Nightmares 
“Familiar yet undeniably creative, heavy and a clear statement in the darkness of music” – Metal Roos

“Practically forces you to headbang” – Metal Injection

“One of the more impressive debuts of recent years” – Distorted Sound

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Black Lava – “Unsheathing Nightmares” (Official Music Video) 2024
Though they formed with the ease of a natural stream, BLACK LAVA whisk together a wickedly wide cauldron of influences. Sludgy grooves boil with melodic dissonance and old-school death metal, bubbling over into medieval fantasies.

The Australian band are now adding a fresh layer of dark and doomy atmosphere to this potent concoction with their upcoming second album The Savage Winds to Wisdom. Today, they’re revealing Unsheathing Nightmares, the album’s second single, which summons a coven of witches amidst a punishing thunderstorm.

Watch the video for “Unsheathing Nightmares”:

The Savage Winds to Wisdom comes out July 12, 2024 on Season of Mist.

Pre-order & Pre-save:

As with all things that go bump in the night, Unsheathing Nightmares lures you in before hooking its claws into your skull. Drummer Dan Presland (Vipassi, ex-Ne Obliviscaris) crashes and rumbles behind clouds of buzzing distortion, only for a riff to reign down with the headbanging force of an executioner.

“There was greater care taken with compositions on The Savage Winds to Wisdom”, says guitarist Ben Boyle, who also handles axe duties for Vipassi. “Our new album has a greater sense of depth than our first one. The riffs and melodies are more layered, while staying true to what BLACK LAVA does: heavy but catchy anthems that tell an epic story with a real sense of atmosphere”.

On Unsheathing Nightmares, Rob Watkins still growls with all the towering menace of a ravenous ogre. “Speak to me, O silent one!”. But beneath the song’s snaking leviathan of a bass line stirs an even more menacing and elusive force. You can practically hear his eyes rolling into the back of his head as he calls upon an ancient evil amidst hellish, rain-soaked ambience.

“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,” Watkins says. “‘Unsheathing Nightmares’ is one of the songs on The Savage Winds to Wisdom that really excited me. I hope our fans will feel that way, too”.

The video for “Unsheathing Nightmares” was filmed and directed by Colin Jeffs. It was edited and coloured by Dan Presland and produced by Black Lava.

Black Lava – “Ironclad Sarcophagus” (Official Music Video)
1. Colour of Death (6:44)
2. Dark Legacy (4:08)
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: 47:12

Style: Blackened Death 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 and sound engineer
Troy Mccosker

Mastering, mixing and engineering 
Studio Fredman and Fredrick Nordstrom

Cover art
Paolo Girardi

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