Artist: Black Knife
Album: Murder Season
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Country: United States
The band hail from Lexington, Kentucky and formed in 2016. Since that time they’ve released an impressive number of splits, an EP and two full-length albums (this being the second). Murder season follows their January release Black Knife / Ritual Moon split. The band is made up of Hellwulv (guitar and vocals), Bast (bass) and Mad Matt (drums and backing vocals), with additional synth elements by David Reed. The album was recorded by Richard Brinegar and mastered by Jason Groves.
The bands style is a perfect blend of black metal, crust punk and hardcore and will please any fans of bands such as Midnight, Toxic Holocaust (despite not having thrash elements). You can also pick up on some of the band’s more classic influences such as Venom, although that’s the case for many bands of this nature. The blend between the three styles changes constantly throughout the album, leaning more into each particular style as the particular track calls for it. One thing that is consistent throughout the album is grime and raw aggression present from start to finish on the album. This is one pissed off band and their music (and album art) reflect this. I have to mention the art though, because this is one of the best album covers I have seen in a long time and we have Eye Dust to thank for that.
The band have a real level of dirt and grime in their punk influence that I’m picking up crust vibe from, and personally I can’t get enough of it. While this drives a lot of the energy on the album the black metal influences dictate the overall tone and essence of the album. There’s plenty of dirty edge to the guitar tone and vocals, which are perfectly suited to the instrumentals on the album. They’re a raw barked style that are easily understandable and remind me quite a bit of Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust (particularly his earlier works) hence why I said that fans of the band would probably enjoy this album. The drum style on the album is very much punk influenced, having a certain level of constant bounce and energy to it, forever driving the album forward. The guitar style shifts between punk, hardcore and black metal as far as the riffs and hooks employed go, but they always maintain somewhat of a black metal tone. The bass work on the album is equally as punk influenced and has that thick, chunky tone, sits audibly in the mix and runs at an energy to match the guitar work on the release.
The tracks on the album are all between 1:30 and 3 minutes in length (aside from track 11 Unholy Ritual which sits at 6:03) which is perfect for this style. It means that each song is a short, furious punch in the gut and then immediately you get to do it all over again 11 more times. I guarantee that you’ll put this album on and listen to it from start to finish without even realising and then be shocked once it’s over and immediately want more. Luckily for you the band have other albums to enjoy, or you can simply listen to this one again like I did.
Overall, this a truly solid release and one that I can see myself coming back to time and time again. I never tire of short punchy black metal/punk albums of this nature, particularly when they’re of as high a quality as this one. So, if you’re a black metal or punk fan, make sure you give this a spin.
Listen to and order the album below:
Order the album: