Black Elk - s/t (2006)
This is another great release I have been digging lately. I heard of it through Below The Rust;he used the word 'sludgy', so I figured it would be worth checking out. Well after repeated listens, I am totally sold on this. What keeps striking me as so great about Black Elk is their formless mastery of so many different kinds of metal and hardcore. It becomes hard to pin down. Like if you took Jesus Lizard and put it with Karp or Craw, and maybe some Anthrax and Slayer and, you know, why not some Kyuss too, just to cover all our bases.
The Jesus Lizard comes first because the singer bares a resemblence to David Yow in his delivery. They also have that spooky, slithery guitar dynamic, but thats where the lines start getting blurred. They'll break into a steamroll chug, drop some metal fill, and then kick you in the face like any good hardcore band would. They exhibit a certain mathy style, but they dont overwhelm with the technicals, instead providing many head nodding moments, including some great Converge style mosh parts into a southern style blues metal dirge. The drummer is reminiscent of Brann Dailor, from Mastodon and Today is the Day. He has some nasty fills and some fierce visceral slugs that will keep you on your toes. The last song, Who Knew?, is amazing, sludgy, mathy, stomping and frightening and ends the album ferociously.
They reside in the forests of Oregon, roaming free, with cloven hooves, creating their bacchanal with blackened glory. Their website is currently available for your leering eyes. Black Elk. And the whole mess has been christened on Crucial Blast Records.