Black Shape of Nexus
Negative Black

Are you in need of a crushing sludge fix? Something obliteratingly heavy, perhaps with a touch of droning doom psychedelics? Eh? Black Shape of Nexus has your number. Continuing in the heavier direction apparent on their split with Kodiak, Negative Black is a big shift for this German crew. Microbarome Meetings, the bands previous album of drone/noise, was a crippling wall of dense ambiance and a radical departure from the sludgy drone/doom on their self-titled LP. Four years later and they’ve brought back the sludge, added a more varied vocal approach, and pushed the drone to the back. It’s a big change but a welcome one, as Negative Black is their most complete album yet.

B·SON cover a lot of ground on their third full length. The album progresses gradually, shifting focus from noise (“Illinois”) to straightforward sludge/doom (“400H”, “60WV”) and closing with drifting psychedelia and slowly evolving drone. Bouncy grooves, sludgy doom, wavering psychedelia, dense waves of narcotic drone, and washes of synth-based noise collide throughout the 80 minute run time. The centerpiece is “10000 µF”, a sprawling 20 minute bruiser of aggressive sludge and trudging doom that marries leaden riffs with the noise of Microbarome Meetings. Guitar leads are replaced with grinding noise as the track burns out and the riff slows and dissipates to nothingness.  The band washes along the shores of Planet Caravan on “RMS” and concludes with some one-riff tectonic drone.

Negative Black is a successful evolution and integration of the bands previous styles, as it marries the disparate strands connecting their two previous LPs. If you like your sludge with plenty of “post”-prefix, solemn and weepy, this isn’t for you. Ragingly heavy, dense and noisy, and standing up favorably alongside Black Sheep Wall, Batillus, and Whitehorse, Negative Black cements Black Shape of Nexus as some of the most brutish sludge out there.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
October 12th, 2012

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