Running late with things always seems to be a theme at least of late, well maybe longer than that. In this case I am terribly tardy on this review but interestingly my procrastination allowed more listens and a deeper appreciation of the Black Shape Of Nexus/ Lazarus Blackstar split. It was listed as heavy doom, and well anyone that knows me will attest if it is heavy doom or for that matter any type of doom, I am there with headphones at the ready.
My first two passes through the split left me a little bewildered. It didn’t click right off the bat, even the third and fourth run throughs produced no resonance at all with me. I was left flat and unemotional, two very bad feelings when listening to music. So I did what I do best, I ignored the release and the impending need for a review, partly because I didn’t know what to say and partly at my ambivalence with the record. A week or go I was flipping through my music on my phone and up came the Black Shape of Nexus and I realized I had forgotten all about this and decided to give it another go and see what happens, I mean I had to write a few words about it so better get it fresh back in the mind.
Black Shape of Nexus make two contributions to the split ‘Honor Found in Delay’ and ‘Always and Only’ both well conceived and indeed heavy doom laden tracks. ‘Honor Found in Delay’ really drops in on the low end, and really left me liking what I was hearing. To be honest I kept trying to figure out why this did not resonate with me on the first pass through. Heavy riifs, slow prodding beat, distorted vocals delivered in a rough and vitriolic way, it was nice to discover the quality. The only thing I offer is that mood and music match perfectly, and sometime a run of good death metal and black metal just happens. The new Behemoth came out how can one not get on that kind of a run. I am just glad I went back. Black’s second track ‘Always and Only’ starts out really centered around some drop dead brutal bass work, with riffs kicking in later. Really captures the mood and was disturbingly executed and really shows off the musicianship of the band.
Lazarus Blackstar also give two tracks up for the split, ‘Command and Control’ and ‘Whispering Through Broken Teeth’. The opener for Lazarus is not as far down on the low end as their split mates but still delivers some brutally infectious riffs and vocals. The vocals here are a lot deeper and tend toward the death metal style a bit of vocal delivery, add some nice layers into the mix. ‘Whispering Through Broken Teeth’ is most definitely a little more low end, with some near Sabbath style riffing and the vocals here are really in character with the song.
What I am now left with is the feeling of a darkly crafted slice of doom metal. Both Black Shape of Nexus and Lazarus Blackstar contributed their own style of music crafting a heavy heavy slab of metal. My mood caused me to procrastinate but also saved me from missing a nice piece of metal work. Give this one a try, it may take one or two listens, but there is some real quality here, it’s heavy, it’s slow, it’s brutal, all qualities of good doom metal. Well done!