2014’s Hail Death and 2017’s As Was were both enjoyable records that made an impact. The latter took the band in increasingly atmospheric and progressive directions, so what does the 50-minute Regenesis offer?
Regenesis strips down the complex sound of As Was, delivering a refined blend of aggressive black metal, thrash influences, and atmospheric depths. It is a shade shorter than its predecessor, despite being four tracks longer, which should give you an idea of some of the album’s refinements. Progressive enrichments and atmospheric presence are still part of Black Anvil’s sound, but on Regenesis the focus of the songs is different; the band are going in for the kill, yet do so with the characterful flourishes we have come to expect from them.
The songs are dark and gritty, presenting an urban nightmarescape of modern black metal for the listener to navigate. Mixing their harsh blackened assault with jagged thrash riffs, inventive melodies, and mood-driven augmentations, Black Anvil have created an album that both shocks and awes. I like that the band are capable of punishing with scathing intensity, as well as affecting with emotive hooks.
On Regenesis Black Anvil have managed to strike a compelling balance between the raw, almost feral darkness of bands like Watain and Marduk, the blackened hardcore/sludge elements of acts like Tombs and Wolvhammer, and the more sophisticated, emotive approach of artists like Enslaved and Ihsahn. Of course, despite my name dropping, the end result actually just sounds entirely like Black Anvil in all of their idiosyncratic glory, so strong is the material that they have forged here.
If you’re a fan of modern black metal played with character and executed with skill, passion, and individuality, then look no further than Regenesis.
Very highly recommended.