Sunlight’s Bane – The Blackest Volume: Like All the Earth Was Buried (Review)

Sunlight's BaneThis is the debut album from Sunlight’s Bane, a blackened sludge/grindcore band from the US.

This is nasty, raw and nihilistic music that wants nothing more than to terrify, scar and demoralise the listener. With a mix of Nails, Anaal Nathrakh, Hooded Menace, Aborted, Trap Them, Extreme Noise Terror, Primitive Man, Zao, and many others in their sound, Sunlight’s Bane have concocted an identity that’s very much their own and quite a hard one to accurately classify, if you care about such things.

Calling Sunlight’s Bane blackened anything is accurate, although what comes after the blackened appelation largely depends on what they’re doing at any given moment in any given song. This shouldn’t give the impression that the band are wildly all over the shop, but for such violent, vicious extremity, at 54 minutes in length, there’s a lot more going on here than any one single sub-genre. I feel blackened sludgecore is probably a better term for the band in general, as the sludge metal label tends to cover a lot of sins, and Sunlight’s Bane’s music is harsh and nasty in all of the best sludgy ways.

Having said all that, genre-labels don’t really matter too much when it comes down to it. All that’s ultimately important is how good the music is. Well, take a sit down and strap yourself in, as Sunlight’s Bane have created an absolute monster.

The band take the raw fury of grind and crust, coat it with the tar-black heaviness of sludge metal, inject some death metal depravity and then dip everything in the poisonous murk of underground black metal. This makes for songs that are just as comfortable raging with blackened bile as they are torturing with slow, malevolent heaviness.

The levels of feral extremity on this album are impressive in their own right, but when combined with the more nuanced take on heaviness and dark atmosphere that the band successfully foster during a lot of the songs, the entire album is raised up a notch.

The songs are all pitch-black ugly affairs that seem to simply ache to destroy everything around them. There’s a variety of attacks in their destructive methods though, with everything from unrelenting blast beats to slow, doom-infected sludge workouts, and everything in between. This makes for a collection of belligerent tracks that know hundreds of different ways to carve you up, and because they do it so very well you really quite want them to.

It’s rare to see a band as savage as this also include elements of reflection and nuance, but the band do this well. As previously stated, there’s a lot going on here, and this album is a comprehensive examination of many different styles and sub-genres, all coated in the band’s trademark filthy delivery.

I haven’t mentioned the vocals yet, but these are equally as diverse and well-performed as the music. Almost every type of harsh vocalisation you can imagine is used, and then some.

I can’t help but love albums like this. The mixing of the genres, the sheer force of the aggression, the utter inhuman heaviness, the nasty riffs…Sunlight’s Bane have produced an extreme metal album that’s incredibly impressive, one which has so many shades of violence and ugliness it’s simply enthralling.

Utterly essential.

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3 thoughts on “Sunlight’s Bane – The Blackest Volume: Like All the Earth Was Buried (Review)

  1. Pingback: Interview with Sunlight’s Bane |

  2. Pingback: Apes – Lightless (Review) |

  3. Pingback: Seeker – Loss (Review) |

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