Review / 200 Words Or Less
Black Anvil
As Was

Relapse (2017) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Black Anvil – As Was cover artwork
Black Anvil – As Was — Relapse, 2017

Black Metal as a musical genre is not known for it's subtlety. The pendulum will usually swing between low-fi heavily distorted guitar and blast-beats or overwrought, overproduced operatic epics. 

But Black Anvil is a band of a different color. Hailing from NYC, they've managed to make a more accessible Black Metal sound without sacrificing any of the chief tenets that define the genre, much in the same way pioneering way Celtic Frost did to create the genre in the first place. 

Vocalist/Bassist Paul Delaney leads the charge on tracks like "As An Elder Learned Anew" and "Nothing" proving that Black Anvil refuse to paint themselves into a corner with their sound. 

Take instrumental "The Way of All Flesh" a soft, beautiful instrumental that on paper should stand out like a sore thumb, but in the deft hands of Delaney, Raeph Glicken on drums, and guitarists Jeremy Sosville and Travis Bacon, the goods are delivered in spades. Rounding out the album is "Ultra", an epic tune that is probably the most easily digested and rides the line of being progressive but never crosses into the zone of pretension - again demonstrating the skill of the musicians at hand.

Black Anvil – As Was cover artwork
Black Anvil – As Was — Relapse, 2017

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Black metal is cool now right? Not to complain. I enjoy the genre, generally speaking, and the statement isn't a cut on Black Anvil as a band. It does seem like there are millions of BM bands coming out of the woodwork at this point. The skill or adherence to the genre are always up in the air. Black Anvil, … Read more