Blæck Fox present us with 15 minutes of layered blackened gloom. Spread over two tracks, Blæck Fox bring the darkness with enviable ability.
The Prey builds and flows using some of the most effective tools from the post-metal toolbox. It creates atmosphere with ease, coming across initially as a mix of something like Tool and Isis. Soft clean vocals are well-performed and a welcome listen, before harsh, blackened screams take over and the song becomes more upbeat.
At this point the blackened sludge starts to take over, before devolving into a kind of drone/doom workout that’s effective and heavy. The song begins to wind down with a rumbling bassline and apoplectic vocals, before launching into a crusty section powered by venom and bile. The final minute or so has a dark stoner air to it, not too far removed from something Fister might do.
The second song here is Primitive Man, which briefly shares a similarly atmospheric and textured opening to the previous song, before getting to the heaviness far quicker. This is still all about building mood and atmosphere though, which quickly becomes apparent. If it isn’t already clear, Blæck Fox obviously know how to write a good song.
Primitive Man is yet another song that takes the best weapons from the post-metal arsenal and coats them in corrosive blackened sludge. I very much like the malevolent chugging menace that appears a couple of minutes in, and I like even more when this changes into a bass-driven section that ramps up the atmospheric tension. The well-patterned and distributed high-pitched shrieks are quite intoxicatingly viscous. The track reminds me of some of Battle Path‘s older work in places.
I’ve never previously encountered Blæck Fox, but these couple of songs are absolutely top class. Bring on a full length!
Morasth’s side of the split contains just one song with a length of 14 minutes.
Morasth’s music is more spacious and expansive than that of Blæck Fox. Their contribution to this split – …and on Celestial Shores I Build Enormous Sepulchres – is as epic as the song’s title. With a slow-building atmospheric doom base, effectively enhanced by post-metal mechanics, the band set to their work with focus and zeal, producing a song that’s affecting and emotive.
This is an instrumental song that’s rhythmically percussive. Taking elements of drone and ambient into its far-reaching embrace, the band’s music is monolithic and filled with a cosmic grandeur. The song gives the impression of exploring the furthest reaches of the universe, with the band somehow navigating via a bass-heavy core and resplendent guitar melodies.
Although quite different in temperament to Blæck Fox’s side of the split, Morasth’s contribution is certainly complementary to it.
Highly recommended for all explorers of the deepest, darkest doom and sludge waters.