Happy new year gentle men and women, lovers of the heavy.
Gotta love serendipity.
Picked almost at random from the Southern Lord website in a bid to sate my hunger for crusty metal, Balaclava has barrelled into my life without warning and wrenched me from my festive meat coma with an almighty slap around the chops.
Crimes of Faith may be billed as “hardcore punk [played] with severe intensity” but that is selling this cracking little gem far short.
It reminds me of nothing less than a nastier, more comedown-paranoid Baroness circa First & Second. High praise indeed cos I frequently cream my pants over that record.
Songs start out metallic hardcore-furious, slow to sludge-dense before unravelling into scalding atmospherics of tremolo-picked sheets of guitar noise.
Balaclava create so much texture – their sound is akin to a tornado full of shrapnel glinting with the rays of the setting sun.
Beautiful yet fucking terrifying.
Best of all, you can count on the fact that around the corner from each feedback-laced and effects-laden instrumental jam, there’s a herd of galloping d-beats, meaty chugging riffs and bulge-eye screaming coming straight for you.
If only every random selection was this bloody good, eh?