Floods – Floods (Review)

FloodsFloods are a US black metal band and this is their debut EP.

Floods play a mix of black, death and sludge metal. Which genre they are actually playing is up for debate, although I’d argue that black metal forms the largest part of their musical equation, so we’ll go with that.

The songs on this sub 25 minute EP combine elements of vicious black metal, psychedelic guitar work, bass lines out of a technical death metal band, tense atmosphere building, sludge-heavy riffs and even some Mastodon-esque guitar dynamics buried within the blackened distortion.

It’s an impressive mix of different influences that on paper may sound a little incongruous and even slapdash, but when you actually listen to it that’s not the case at all. Everything comes together under the band’s aegis so well that all you really notice initially is that you’re listening to some state of the art, cutting edge black metal. Think of a mix of Tombs, Krallice and Palace of Worms, maybe.

Heavily percussive and streaked with broken pieces of darkened melody, the music is tar-black and intricate. These songs don’t give up their secrets willingly, but being made to work for it is a privilege, as Floods are so very good at what they do that they can afford to essentially do what they want with their art, secure in the knowledge that the listener will lap it up.

The singer’s serrated screams are pure black metal; the music may borrow from other sub-genres, but the vocals do not. Lodged deep in the mayhem of the music, the vocals are like a central river of poison that runs through everything here.

This kind of music pulses with a deep blackened vitality that’s so achingly necessary it actually hurts. I do so love this kind of ultra-modern black metal that’s not afraid to plunder other styles with maniacal glee. Anyone into modern black metal-plus-other is so ready for Floods.

This first EP is so accomplished and enjoyable that it’s hard to credit this is a new band. If they can keep up this level of quality for a full length album then I’m sure it will be something amazing, as this EP has seriously impressed.

Essential.

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