Black Anvil are another top American Black Metal band, along with deafheaven, Vattnet (Viskar) and So Hideous. Each band have their own take on the style. Black Anvil, to me, are the most prog of the lot. Their latest album “As Was” is an absolute masterpiece that reminds me a great deal of Enslaved at times. I love Enslaved so that works for me!
The songs are epic and while sometimes they get into that fast paced, over the top black metal style, frequently they rely on atmosphere and melody to add incredible dynamics to the music. The big tracks on here for me include the epic opener “On Forgotten Ways,” the incredible title track, “Two Keys: Here’s The Lock” and the closing track “Ultra.”
“On Forgotten Ways” feels very much like vintage Enslaved and it kicks major ass in the process. It’s equal parts expansive and lethal. “May Her Wrath Be Just” features some incredible drumming from Raeph Glicken. This one is more typically black metal, which works well within the track sequence. Meanwhile, the title track is epic as fuck and also prog death metal at its finest. The chorus flat out beautiful. Yes I said beautiful. It has a nice balance of clean vocals along with harsh vocals, plus melody and power.
“Nothing” is another fast blitzkrieg with “As An Elder Learned Anew” slowing things down but being equally heavy. There are no weak moments, to be fair. The final three tracks are amazing. “Two Keys: Here’s The Lock” is another foray into prog metal which showcases some incredibly melodic and Floydian moments during the intro before guitars inject it with some bite.
Even the instrumental piece “The Way Of All Flesh” is crucial to the flow of the album and NOT filler like some bands will do. It segues into “Ultra,” which closes out the album on a very high note. Awesome song with a killer chorus and a perfect ending to a damn near perfect album. “As Was” is sure to please fans of progressive black metal and fans of prog metal that need a good kick in the ass!
1. On Forgotten Ways
2. May Her Wrath Be Just
3. As Was
5. As An Elder Learned Anew
6. Two Keys: Here’s The Lock
7. The Way Of All Flesh
Label: Earache Records