Black Knife
Baby Eater Witch

The back half of 2023 has provided me with a pretty hefty load of really heavy albums. I don’t mean, like, bone-crushing, headbanging heavy – I mean like, they’ve given me a lot to think about. Really full, robust listening experiences that take a lot of time and focus to really dissect, really understand. Some that have even turned it around and made me reflect on myself and what’s going on in MY life which, honestly? Rude.

Then, there’s this shit. And you know what? Thank you, Black Knife, for turning my brain off for a lil’ bit. It was getting a intense in there.

Guys, I fucked up. I should have had this reviewed before Halloween because, frankly, this sure is just about perfect for all your Misfits-loving, Midnight-worshipping depravity. So I’m not gonna waste any more time cuz, I mean honestly, not a whole lot to think about here. Some background: Black Knife have been haunting around since 2017, bringing the world an absolutely un-fucked-with, raw and raucous mix sneering, shit-grinning Blackened Punk/Thrash born from the gods of NunslaughterGehennahBestial Mockery, and of course the aforementioned Midnight and Misfits, always leaning a little more on the side of stripped-down punk sensibilities. Lots of spooky, murder-y aesthetics and imagery (Their last full-length being titled, on-the-nosely, “Murder Season”). As such, don’t expect to greet this thing and be blown away by any technical wizardry or complicated song structures – this is blue collar, to-the-point aggression purpose-built for heresy and hedonistic fun.

 

On the thrashier side of the coin, tracks like opener “Haunt Your Nightmares” check off all the right boxes – relentless, neck-snapping riffs lead the way with ferocity and ill-intent, before the band breaks out into a sweet little two-step bridge that will turn any crowd already worked into a frenzy into an absolute maelstrom. Guitarist and vocalist “HELLWULV” is certainly the star of the show, with his Athenar-like bark spewing venom with every lyric, accentuated by the occasional (and absolutely necessary) barrage of “OUGHs” and “BLEGHs” and everything you want from a vocal performance on this kind of thing. My personal favorite track, “Screaming From the Depths of Hell” charges forward with an explosion of blasted drums and dirty riffs that mow down everything standing in their way, like a flaming, hell-born big rig driven by the reaper itself. Again, it’s when the band breaks things down for another sadistically fun little bridge that the songs ups the ante and becomes another track sure to be a fan-favorite.

Then there’s the Of course, this kind of thing wouldn’t be complete with a certain amount of sleaze. The hilariously titled “Evil Sex on Halloween” it a barn-burner with the same sort of tongue-in-cheek (and probably other places) attitude required. They even get a little weird during the song’s bridge by adding some funky distorted… guitars? Synths? Not sure, but the effect is entirely appropriate and paints a gnarly picture. Then there’s closer “Crawling Through Your Guts to See the Light” which, I don’t know if there’s supposed to be a euphemism there, but the track rumbles along at a slow, oozing pace – dripping with grease and slime and honestly, it all just feels a bit slutty if I’m honest – like Patrick Star wearing fishnets and thigh-high boots. It’s gross and I love it.

Truth is, you likely already know what to expect here – and there’s not much chance I’ll change your mind one way or another about it. But that’s fine, Black Knife knows what they’re about, and they’re sure as hell not waiting around for anyone’s approval. If it’s a simple, sordid fun you’re after – Black Knife has the goods and should make it onto next year’s Halloween playlist with ease. Check it out for yourself, just maybe wash your hands when you’re done.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
November 15th, 2023

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