Rising from the Leeds underground scene Black Moth have already made quite an impression in the doom/sludge metal genre they currently occupy. Condemned To Hope is their second album following the well received 2012 debut album The Killing Jar.
Not being someone who would normally pick up an album from either Doom or Sludge genres, I genuinely do not know what to expect from this release. The album opens with the grungy riffs of Tumbleweed interlaced with some solid metal six string work taking me very much from intrigue to interest. Once Harriet Bevans strong yet haunting vocals kick in I’m hooked as she brings another level to the dark almost grungy sounds.
Swainson on guitar picks the pace up for dark heavy rock track ‘Set yourself Alight’ with its chunky bass and simple sludgy riffs but upbeat is short lived and we are taken back down again for the excellent doom laden ‘Looner’. So far this offering from Black Moth has been both lyrically deep and musically atmospheric, almost haunting at times, and from this solid start the album continues to impress through the remaining 8 tracks.
Black Moth have been compared to many bands since they hit the scene, most notable of these is the legends that are Black Sabbath. I’m not one to follow the crowd with influences, but the opening riffs of ‘The Last Maze’ really are a throwback to the early Sabbath era. Backed up with a crushing bass line and Bevan’s beguiling vocals and you have a metal track that would be at home playing a horror movie out. Then we have the slow number ‘Red Ink’ where much of the music for the first third plays second place to the Harriet’s vocals, which are really allowed to shine here. Distorted riffs and lead sections complete the latter part of the track perfectly making it one of the darkest numbers on the album.
Released as a single ‘Room 13’ is a quality song in its own right, the fast three chord with distorted lead section is reminiscent of the heavier guitar goth sounds Leeds was known for in the late 90’s. Where as the albums closing, and title track, ‘Condemned to Hope’ is the heaviest number that easily compares to Orange Goblin with strong doom and more eerie yet enchanting vocals. The song reaches something of a crescendo then simply stops leaving the listener with silence to reflect upon what has just happened.
And the reflection is good. From the first track I was drawn in by the dark but melodic heavy rock guitars combined with those remarkable vocals. The production quality is top notch, no doubt down to the experience producer Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) has in the genres that Black Moth occupy. Overall a superb second offering that should satisfy existing fans and also introduce new ones.
Condemned to Hope is available to buy now, and Black Moth have tour dates announced for early October.
- Set Yourself Alight
- The Undead King Of Rock And Roll
- The Last Maze
- White Lies
- Red Ink
- Room 13
- Slumber With The Worm
- Condemned To Hope
Black Moth are: –
Harriet Bevan – Vocals
Jim Swainston – Guitar
Nico Carew – Guitar
Dave Vachon – Bass
Dom McCready – Drums