Black Lava // Soul Furnace // Album Review

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During the height of the virus that shall not be named, it was either a blessing or a curse. Some much-needed time off for long-time touring bands, but somewhere needing more. A way to express the hard & frustrating times we were living in. Not to mention how bad it was for the Australian native’s Black Lava.

Founded by drummer Dan Presland (Vipassi, AMDBL, ex-Ne Obliviscaris) and guitarist Ben Boyle (Vipassi,AMDBL, Hadal Maw).

Black Lava are a mix of extreme genres. Old School Death Metal, Black Metal & even some heavily progressive elements.

Filling out the lineup with Rob Watkins on Vocals & Tim Anderson as Bassist the band set out to write their first material during the country’s lockdown.

“Soul Furnace” is a journey of a record. Now it might be the band’s first effort, but the members are seasoned musicians, making an astonishing debut. Using groove-laden melodies and atmospheric elements found within black metal to create some of the largest & cavernous tracks.

“Origins” builds tension & ambience before unleashing a barrage of chainsaw fuzz-soaked guitar distortion & fast blast beats & double kick drums. As the track peaks & follows perfectly into track two “Aurora” it shows that this track is a nice way of blending an intro with the rest of the album to create an all-over tone & mood for the album which they land perfectly.

Black Lava’s search for a vocalist & finding Tim Anderson is the perfect fit for the band’s sound. Sonically the band is a dark, unrelenting force. Now if a vocalist was to do the same they may get lost in the brutality but not here with Tims’s approach. A higher range shouting/scream elevates over the band & makes for a great tactile texture to the band’s overarching sound.

Thrasher “Baptised In Ice” shows the band’s fast-paced blackened side.

Watain meets Entombed with this one. A show stealer.

Keeping a fantastic groove through the song but changing up the pace when the chorus & bridge change shows the perfect melding of sounds & genres. One of the best showcases for drummer Dan Presland on this track too. His blasting is superb & tight as hell.

With a tribal & drum heavy beginning “Northern Dawn” is one the largest soundscaping track on the album. An nonstop bombardment of thick guitar & bass tone. Which also brings these surprising but much appreciated layered melodic elements weaved into the guitar tracking. Perfectly balanced.

The sound of bombing tom’s & heavy bass drums adds a thick dark tone to this track. As the song builds to its conclusion it is ramped up and delivers perfectly in the most hellish way, reintroducing the lead riff one more time before leaving you wanting more.

As the album draws to a close, title track “Soul Furnace” feels like the perfect way to end the band’s first full length. Giving us a few more surprises they have kept hidden. Soft haunting vocal moments from Rob Watkins give this last track a very eerie atmosphere. Incorporating more clean & reverb soaked guitars this song builds to the most epic conclusion that really pays off & completes the album in the most satisfying way.

Black Lava haven’t just come out the gate with a great Demo or EP. Throwing themselves into a full length head first & putting the love & craft they have into “Soul Furnace” pays off ten fold. One of the most diverse & musically spectral albums of recent years!

BLACK LAVA

Soul FurnaceSeason of Mist

25 November 2022

Season Of Mist

 

Review: Joseph Mitchell

Track-list: 
1. Origins (02:50)
2. Aurora (03:35)
3. Black Blizzard (03:32)
4. Baptised in Ice (03:27)
5. Eye of the Moon (04:10)
6. Northern Dawn (04:30)
7. Necrocatacomb (03:23)
8. Nightshade (04:06)
9. Soul Furnace (04:31)
Total duration: 34:02

Recording Studio: Bushido Studios, Melbourne
Producer / sound engineer: Troy Mccosker
Mixing studio and engineer: Kurt Ballou
Mastering studio and engineer: Alan Douches

Cover artwork: Paolo Giradi

Pre-sales: https://redirect.season-of-mist.com/BlackLava
Pre-Save: https://orcd.co/blacklava-soulfurnace

Formats:
CD Digipak
Digital
2x 12” vinyl in various colours

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