Black Sites – Untrue (Review)

Black Sites - UntrueBlack Sites are a heavy/progressive metal band from the US and this is their third album.

Untrue combines progressive features with traditional heavy metal to produce a 44-minute album that’s all about the songs. There’s no gimmick or ostentatious nonsense here, no pointless bloat or filler, just eight songs of hard riffs, soaring vocals, and rich melodies.

Black Sites kick out the jams with charismatic skill, while also lacing their music with splashes of sophisticated colour and intricate texture. The band have a real talent for balancing the two, resulting in a song-first approach that pays off handsomely.

I like that despite the fact that they use many recognisable ingredients, (heavy/progressive/alternative metal, hard rock, etc.), the band have a somewhat distinctive sound all of their own. There’s nothing groundbreaking here from a stylistic point of view; rather, the key to the success of Black Sites is their unique character, their quality songwriting abilities, and the individual spin that they give the genre.

All of the instruments are well-played and the performances engaging. The vocals, which are usually the weakest link in anything like this, are powerful and commanding, while not lacking in emotional content or sensitivity. The production is professional and inviting. Black Sites have the full package.

Untrue is, quite simply, a great album full of great metal songs. Packed with catchy hooks and songs that are instantly memorable, yet also able to stand the test of multiple replays with ease, Black Sites have crafted a metal album to put many others this released year to shame.

Essential listening for any progressive or heavy metal fan.

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