Black Box Warning
Attendre La Mort EP

The debut EP Attendre La Mort from devastating, French death/doom crew Black Box Warning (BBW, he he!) is an utter desolation trip that’s well-worth taking for fans of the genre.  Reminding me of Winter, Coffins, Warcrab, early Morgion and Famishgod, this shit is fuckin’ sick and heavier than a cement mixer full of pre-made tombstones.  Hopeless riffing, vomit inducing vocals, noisy black metal texture guitar, crusty speed bursts and some gargantuan rhythmic heft combine into a deadly hurricane of doom that’s all about the thickness and girth.

Instead of songs we get doses.  That’s pretty appropriate here.  “5 Mg” drives a nightblack riff into the grave with syrupy bass lines and dinosaur plod drumming that’s a trifecta of godless tone that’s as heavy as anything I’ve heard in recent memory.  Sneering death metal growls turn into vaporous low-note screams that kick the riff up into a blackened, slow punk groove before the band plummets into an abyss of ancient Sabbath styled riffs beamed from the unhappiest corners of the doom/sludge genre.  A retching drum and bass boil takes hold, leading to a scalding noise solo; only furthering the black metal elements.  When the riffs return their stature and weight dwarfs even monstrous giants like King Kong and Godzilla.  This shit would wrestle them to the ground in a 2 on 1 brawl.  “4 Mg” kicks up the tempo with some near early Entombed, gravelly, crusty tonalities lunging and volleying at the listener with a pretty good rate of fire.  Sick little solos signify a downshift into burden carrying, heavier than hell collapses where it sounds like the instruments are actually falling apart as they play.  The riff halts to a choppy, murderous crawl punctuated by corrosive vocal vomits before moving into a melancholy section rippling with sorrowful leadwork.  It’s a drawn out segment, getting noisier and more ear canal scraping as it goes; locked into place by a minimalist beat and overstuffed bass grooves.  When the riffs come back in (and I’m talking RIFFS), they’re the kind of shit that eats a bowlful of mountains for breakfast and washes it down with a glass of river.  Screeching blackened incantations continue to cut through the darkness with the music tossing and turning between extreme doom/death riff grind and murderous atmospheric pain, the entire composition ending on a churl of a d n’ b sludge out.

“1 Mg” phases in on a diseased, killer bee buzz that sets a Sabbath groove to an early Celtic Frost density.  Rumbling, anti-time tom fills break up each segment of string busting, power chord scathes while the low-end amplifies the heaviness at least 20 times what it could have been with a more buried bass presence.  These are the kind of riffs that will play when the bombs are dropping.  Faster, agility-leaned runs enter during the second half and keeps my interest high, paving the way for one of the record’s biggest, catchiest grooves.  A fetid, festering Grief-tempo bass curmudgeon provides the introduction to “2 Mg” with sparse drum/cymbal crashes raising the tension as a noise-drenched riff decaying in dissonance and discordance comes into play.  Once the main guitar attack phases into existence I’m almost hearing some first album Cathedral emanating from the speakers…if that Cathedral era was draped in psychotic anger, eye-spinning distortion and furious death metal tinges.  A downplayed midsection culls some latent, foreboding melody guitars that are soon to be blown to smithereens with Norwegian ambience and hurtling doom boulders hellbent on running your ass down a hill.  Closer “3 Mg” is the speediest, quickest paced cut on the record.  They still splatter the walls with lycanthropic doom every chance they get, yet the overall pacing once again reminds me of a crippled Entombed song off of Left Hand Path or Clandestine.

Black Box Warning is truly heavier than a carrier ship full of BBWs, that’s for sure.  The riffage is tight, the songs concise n’ to the point, the rhythms back-breaking, the vocals on the mark and the songwriting unafraid to step out of a singular tempo or speed.  Attendre La Mort is truly the sign of even greater things to come.  All doom/death/sludge fanatics should check this fucker out.  It’s damn good.  If you enjoyed Warcrab or Famishgod recently, this bad bud’s for you.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
June 8th, 2018

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