Black Tongue
The Unconquerable Dark

Falsifier and Born Hanged, the first two EPs from this UK downtempo/deathcore act have become the Sermon of Mockery among deathcore fans, being the holy grail of deathcore collectors  and reaching stupid prices. So Black Tongue have parlayed that and their prior Infant Annihilator infamy (whose releases also go for high prices) into a deal with Century Media (who kindly released a Falsifier/Born Hanged redux album, albeit only digitally).

Those familiar with the band know  exactly what they are getting. Those unfamiliar with down-tempo or Black Tongue, will probably have bowel prolapses. This style of music -call it what you will- chug core, doomcore, down tempo, deathcore, etc is certainly an niche for a certain group of fans. Fans of The Acacia Strain, Calmed By the Tides of Rain etc are certainly the target audience, but take an The Acacia Strain ’45 and play it on ’33 and you get some idea of the sound. It’s all about heft, heft and more heft.

There’s no doubt Black Tongue is heavy. And I mean heavy. The question is, does this snail’s pace, downtuned chug translate well to a 9 track full album? Both prior releases were EPs and in small doses, so the impact of the material is tangible.  And the answer, realistically is no. The album’s 9 track, 40 or so minute run time of continual  sloooooow, drawn out chugs, squeals and breakdowns along with mouth o’ nuts ‘n’ bolts vocals, wears thin. However, this does not make it a bad album. What it does makes for is an album that you put on for a song or two to get your blood pumping, evacuate unwanted guests (or bowels) and utterly destroy shit. Especially your speakers.

The riffs are a about as simple as music comes. Brown note, open note chugs that rumble and lurch with bad intentions. I would not even classify them as ‘breakdowns’ per say as there is really any respite from them, they don’t build or announce themselves, they just heave and lope like a 700 lb gorilla on barbiturates and bath salts. From opener “Plague Worship” to closer “I’m so Tired of Sighing. Please Lord, Let It Be Night”, the tracks barely separate from each other, being essentially one loooooooong, steady, painful beatdown. And to be honest, at times it really is impressive, sometimes exhausting , but none the less, the patient density and sheer weight that emanates from the speakers is undeniable. You can literally  feel “Prince of Ash” , “A Pale Procession II: Death March” or the stupidly heavy “I’m so Tired of Sighing. Please Lord, Let It Be Night”, erupt through the air with a fiery, tangible menace.

There is a little variety here and there though. “In the Wake ov the Wolf” adds a sort of chorus, “Young Gloom”, and “Masquerade” start with a brief ambient intros, “L’appel du Vide” has a blast beat, and Eddie Hermida  (Suicide Silence/ex All Shall Perish) adds a brief shrieking appearance to “Vermintide”. But for the most part, despite its attempt to be something a little deeper, The Unconquerable Dark is a knuckle dragging exercise in simple but uncompromising, unmitigated sonic violence.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 4th, 2015


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