If deep and droning stoner tones are what you want from your guitar parts (heh-heh-heh, parts), then the monolithic lumber of the opening riff of the Rise Rebel Seers EP is going to make all the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as if the pizza delivery guy just rang the doorbell. Brighton’s Blackstorm are something of a minor-league supergroup of UK post-hardcore and metal types (featuring current or former members of such bands as earthtone9, Twin Zero, The Ghost Of A Thousand, This Is Menace, Fall Of Efrafa and Skulldozer, fact-fans!), and the sort of confidence that comes from experience (not to mention from a disillusionment with unsuccessfully chasing stardom in a fickle business, one assumes) oozes out of this stately and brutal metal. Think hypnotically simple Electric Wizard-esque stoner riffola with bellowed hardcore vocals… the sort of thing you might get if you played a SunnO))) record at three or four times the normal speed.
Which means Blackstorm aren’t really doing anything astonishingly new or innovative here, but what the hell – if you like sludge and doom metal, you probably love it for its elephantine mass, that weighty musical texture that puts you in mind of dazedly wading through a trough of warm freshly-poured concrete on your way to the shop for a packet of silver kingsize and some munchies… and that texture is here in spades. There are some real special moments, though – the roaring harmonies of the repeated vocal hook near the end of “Weakened By Divison” should be set to autoplay on the Wikipedia page for the word “epic”, for instance, and puts me in mind of New Yorican post-stoner priesthood Hull. Oh, and Torche, too.
Moving onwards, “Then You’ll Drown” picks up the pace a bit, blending doomy metal and hardcore into something that sounds completely unlike the tedious shrieky-haircut cookie-cutter crap that still gets peddled as “metalcore”, “Closing In” is like some hideously vigorous but scarily compelling laboratory hybrid of Black Flag and Black Sabbath, and closing track “Crush Every Mountain” makes me want to drive a machine-gun-equipped monster truck around some fictional city full of bad guys, squelching all who oppose me beneath my mighty round rubber feet of JUSTICE. Black, black, black, black… Blackstorm make low-slung sludge with tone, authority and a whole lot of beef. Get in there quick, if only so you can say you were listening to them before anyone else bothered; this is a band worth being elitist about.