Black Tongue - Nadir
It is without hesitation that I write the following statement: there simply is no band out there quite like UK's Black Tongue. We were taught that way back in 2014 when "Born Hanged - Falsifier" was released, we were reminded of that in 2015 with the release of "The Unconquerable Dark" and on Halloween this year, that statement resonates true yet again with the release of "Nadir" - quite possibly Black Tongue's heaviest, gloomiest sounding record to date. Describing themselves as "doomcore," there's probably no better way to describe their sound than the epic, damning mix of doom metal and deathcore - an absolutely deadly combination that will leave you physically shaking from the albums beginning until its very final moments. It's been three long, quiet years from Black Tongue and with "Nadir," the band have somehow outdone all of their previous work and manifested something so sinister, so fucking brutal that it will rock you to your very core. This is "Nadir."
Black Tongue's unique and distinct sound definitely will not be for everyone; in a weird way, I think it takes a certain type of ear to truly listen to what you're listening to and to fully appreciate just how insanely heavy it is. Some may just say it's sludgy but honestly, I think that's what makes it sound so different from everything else we hear from "core" bands; let's be honest, you know when you're hearing a Black Tongue song, there's no doubt about it. Try opening track "The Eternal Return to Ruin" for example; even just seconds in, what you're hearing is undoubtedly a BT song, through and through. When the fierce, drawn out doomy guitar finally hits you, it fucking HITS. That wicked, slow-but-fatal sound is what makes this band outshine so much other music that tries to sound like it. With genres like technical death metal, there's an overload of detail drilling into your ear drums all at once; with Black Tongue, all the fancy is stripped away until you're left with the underlying, notoriously heavy sound that fans from all metal backgrounds will enjoy. Mix those guitars, the undeniably epic percussion and evil as fuck vocals together, and you've got a recipe for good goddamn metal.
"Second Death" picks up the pace a bit, starting off with a brief brutal headbang-worthy intro before leading you into unruly blast beats that return about half way through the song that are sure to invoke deep, dark feelings in the listener as you beg for more. This is the perfect song off "Nadir" to experience if you've never heard a Black Tongue song or if you're just wanting to experiment with the bands new album; the final moments of this album will leave you physically shattered - yes, it's that god damn heavy. And it doesn't let up at all throughout this beast of a record: songs like "Abuse Ritual," "The Cathedral" and "Crippled Before the Dwelling Place of God" continue the drawn out, murderous heavy sound throughout their delivery, and I know I've said it before but there just isn't anything that is this epic sounding in our genre, at least none that's crossed my ears yet. The maddening breakdowns you'll find across this record - as with the bands previous work - have to be so insane to hear live; the second half of "Crippled Before the Dwelling Place of God"is just a vicious display of doom and death. Black Tongue temporarily tone it down for a brief second on "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh" (a Celtic Frost cover!!) as the slow, quiet, yet building intro briefly abandons the metal as it leads into another epic, face-melting sludgy breakdown - while it may start off as the softest point on "Nadir," it ends up being one of the heaviest points of the record, so if you're skipping over this track simply because of the intro to the song, you're missing out on one of the finest moments of "Nadir."
Like I mentioned, this band does way more than a lot of other bands, and they do it with way less. No flashy, over-the-top guitar licks, no witty samples, no bullshit breakdowns; Black Tongue give you raw, emotional, gloomy metal and "Nadir" is proof that the band have mastered their style and sound, and without trying to disrespect the bands other two albums (which are amazing as well), "Nadir" simply blows them out of the water. If you like dark, slow, and RAW death, "Nadir" is going to be the one record I recommend to you this year. It's one of the most sinister and evil sounding records of 2018, and it abandons all elements of conventional death metal to create an absolute monster of an album. Simply put, DO NOT skip this record - it's no doubt a chart topper for us here at Soulless Cult. It's got doom, it's got gloom, it's got black metal, and it's a game changer for Black Tongue.