Black Box Warning are a French sludge/doom band and this is their debut EP.
Here we have 23 minutes of tar-thick and pitch-black sludge. God, it’s great to get completely covered in something as filthy and grimy as this now and again.
The songs on this EP are heavy and malignant, with punishing grooves and monolithic guitars. Melody is not unknown to the band though, and it’s used to add apocalyptic colour to the band’s crushing delivery here and there, spreading its relative light through the the otherwise total blackness that exudes from the music.
Although you can hear elements of both stoner metal and Eyehategod-style Southern sludge on Attendre la Mort, these don’t define the band’s style. Yes, the influence can be felt, but they are enhancements to what the band play, rather than being the main event.
The slower, doomier parts of the band’s sound are probably my favourite, although it’s hard to pick any one aspect out on a release like this. Attendre la Mort is a very well-rounded slab of heaviness, especially for such a new band.
Post-metal elements appear across the songs too, adding depth and atmosphere to what would otherwise be a brutal sludge assault only. This side of the band helps imbue the music with a depth and substance that can be lacking from many purely sludge metal bands, and is yet another reason for me liking this EP so much.
I also particularly like the singer’s roaring voice. Pitched somewhere between a growl and shout, (with enough variety to also encompass both), he sounds like an absolute monster.
If the songs on this album are indicative of the type of quality we can expect from Black Box Warning going forward, then I can’t wait for their future releases.