Black Fast have been around the thrash metal scene for a while now, putting out 2 previous LPs, an EP and a single to more or less unanimous praise from those in the know. But is album 3 the release to get them to the attention of a wider audience?
My opinion is yes, most definitely. This is a well rounded album rammed full of languid, flowing riffs combined with tasteful harmonies throughout the entire album. The guitar work is undoubtedly the album’s strongest point. Black Fast have avoided that most annoying of modern pitfalls: disjointed and disorganised songwriting masquerading as ‘progressive’. Riffs flow from one to the next with purpose and clear forethought. Said guitar work also deftly sidesteps over reliance on the use of the single note, downpicked riff so beloved by the poorer quality acts. Drumming is never showy, mostly staying to a medium paced rolling double pedal with tidy fills using sparingly. The bass rumbles along in conjunction with the drums. Again, nothing too flashy but creating a solid foundation for the guitar work to build on. Solos are not crammed in at every opportunity for the sake of having one and when they do appear, they are thoughtful pieces that don’t jar with the overall flow of the song they are placed within.
Many songs display an overall feel similar to much melodic black. Certainly the music displays that kind of cold, melodic edge so appreciated by fans of Dissection, etc. Fans of Death will also find something to enjoy here. Skeletonwitch fans, dismayed by that band’s change in style, may find refuge within the galloping songs structures of the album.
There are one or two minor negatives to be found here: A little more inventiveness from the drums to break up the mostly single tempo double pedal would be welcome and Aaron Atkins vocals do feel slightly repetitive. I feel his delivery would be more forceful with more variety of delivery.
Overall, this LP falls nicely into the progressive thrash sub- genre combined with elements of the more melodic, polished end of black metal. as someone who has grown to hate (yes: hate) much of the chugging, cliche ridden nonsense the infests the newer thrash scene, this album is a breath of fresh air. Of cold, frosty air.
Favourite song: Scarecrow and Spectre