Black Elk


Crucial Blast 2006

A raging and heavy as fuck burst of rabid anger is how I would describe Portland's Black Elk.  Incorporating a lot of alternative styles from Grind bursts to post hardcore rock to fuzzed out death metal.  Mostly though Black Elk relies on chunky hardcore riffs as the backbone for their song structures and then conduct forays into strange realms from that base.  All the songs rage with a seething anger that lashes out in any and all directions which is kind of symbolic of the different tangents that the band experiments with.  The album opens strong with its two best tracks in Toggle and My Lil and then sort of coasts through the rest of the way.  Toss You to the Wolves is my favorite song though with that kind of deceptive opening passage that then blasts away before utilizing some killer guitar squeals that hook me instantly.  And the way it drifts into that soft and enrapturing guitar distortion that reminds me of those lonely nights contemplating my loneliness and sorrow.  I also really like the 2 minute mark of Eyebone with its cavernous cathedral emptiness.  The closer Who Knew? is sort of a slower more thoughtful and introspective sort of rocker that shows some of the range Black Elk is capable of.  Vocally too Black Elk displays a lot of range from spoken, growled, shouted, and distorted verbal acrobatics.  Black Elk I feel would appeal most to the hardcore crowd looking for something a little more mind expanding and with similar tastes as early Damnation AD or maybe a more extreme version of Mean Season's nightmare landscapes.  I am not sure how much the metal audience is gonna be into this album but they sure would be missing out to not give it a chance.  to me Extreme music is Extreme regardless of genre and they all deserve my attention and Black Elk are a good reminder of why I feel this way.