Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Barghest - "Barghest" (2011) [Big Mountain Tapes]
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to introduce you all to Baton Rouge's Barghest, whose first full-length (check yourselves, public, for "The Practice" that hit the internet a few years ago is but a bootleg) is a massive slab of Burzumic black metal the likes of which the modern US black metal fan has maybe heard in the single listen he's given the "Filosofem" vinyl he bought because "Yeah man, Burzum's out of prison!"
Let it be known that EVEN IF this is Thou-related (Barghest boasts current Thou guitarist Matthew Thudium and former drummer Terry Gulino), don't expect any magical, sweeping chord progressions or twinkly delay-drenched post-rock leads. This is pure, angry black metal. There are no fucking "human rights" on this album. No trees. No mysticism. Just pure, unadulterated hate. And you know what? We really need that, because most modern black metal fans forget that their predecessors were violent teenagers. This is beautiful in its own right; it is jagged and pulsating, yet majestic in its nonstop attack. You don't need to sound like Explosions in the Sky to be majestic, after all.
I feel like I should dedicate an entire paragraph to vocalist Dallas Smith's voice alone. This man, also in underground act Arcane Burial, has the voice of a banshee. I mean, it's so wet you can hear his vocal cords smacking into each other. Absolutely wretched and full of hate - truly a unique and impressive voice.
So I might have ranted a little bit in this review, but I swear every word is pertinent. Barghest is doing something wholly right - a throwback to black metal's second wave splendor - and I'm all for it. Though the tape is sold out, it will be released on LP from Howling Mine and Gilead Media. Be sure to pick it up - I know I will!