Blackness - _Dawn of the New Sun_
(Thundering/Wagram, 2002)
by: David Rocher (9 out of 10)
Much as I'll gladly agree that the whole thrash and heavy metal revival phenomenon has now totally degenerated into an irritating "taedium retrorum" drag, some releases affiliated to this genre will sporadically turn up and unexpectedly bully me into a frantic neck-wrecking and air-guitaring session in the intimacy of my own metal sanctum -- and this is precisely the effect that Blackness' second effort, _Dawn of the New Sun_, produced on me. Skilfully fusing massive German thrash-influenced rhythmical chugging with the more melodic blazing aggression of contemporary "thrash metal" releases, this young French quartet also cleverly avoid the headlong and oh-so-prejudicial spiraling dives into worlds of melodic cheesiness which tentatively "retro" and heavy acts like Children of Bodom now specialise in -- tight, fast and always rabidly heavy, _Dawn of the New Sun_ boasts a proud 11 tracks of excellently executed, inspired and compelling death metal-tinged -thrash metal-, rapturously devoid of painted fingernails, heroic stances, infuriating misused keyboards or whimsical attempts to assert a non-existent musical personality; the adrenaline-laced and definitely no-frills cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" speaks for itself in this regard. In addition to these vastly enjoyable qualities, former Loudblast axeman and vocalist Stephane Buriez has crafted a chunky, growling and razor-sharp sound for this release, a tight sonic wall of growling bass and vocals, scything guitars and punishing drums which definitely ranks among his finest productions to date. Granting every mean bite 'n' gash delivered by Blackness' material optimum depth -- from the intense Kreator-style power delivered by the rhythm section to the brilliant, sparkling leads spun by both Blackness' axemen --, the production on this sophomore release is the icing on an already gloriously enjoyable cake. I can now only hope that Thundering Records will grant this genuinely superior thrash act the distribution and support they deserve to help them spread their thrashing meanness way beyond French borders -- headbang your way over to www.blacknessthrash.com to turn yourself in!

(article published 1/9/2002)


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