BLACK SUN
"Twilight of the Gods"

(Head of Crom/Future Noise)

01. Code Black
02. Terminal Velocity
03. Crawling Saviour
04. Gethsemane
05. Tabula Rasa
06. Transcending the Mire
07. Black Angel
08. The Soldier's Prayer
09. Baby Don't Cry
10. Warhead
11. Twilight of the Gods

RATING: 8/10

The pain…she's a comin' strong! That the blackening of the power source we call the sun is not the stuff of joyful celebration is inarguable. "Twilight of the Gods" by Glasgow misery mongers BLACK SUN is sludgy, abrasively post-punk, and noisy as hell. It is torment set to music.

The players are vocalist/percussionist Russell McEwan, guitarist/vocalist Kevin Hare, and bassist Graeme Leggate, assisted with radiating waves of foment by guest vocalist/lyricist Eugene B. Robison (OXBOW). The sound comes across as a 11-round slug fest between GODFLESH and 16, refereed by Henry Rollins whilst JOY DIVISION and UNSANE watch from a distance. Speaking of that former SST warrior, there is no better place to begin the color commentary than with "Black Angel", a standout cut that features the aforementioned Robinson whose patterns and tone gives the twisted blues beat of the up-tempo number a "My War" blanketing of malice. Robinson follows with his performance on "Tabula Rasa", a primal, tribal-esque spine chiller.

Then there are the nine remaining tracks. Anything at which to sneeze? Absolutely not. The collection is the soundtrack to a desolate, freezing cold urban landscape crushed under the weight of humanity's cruelty and utter lack of compassion. The plod is aplenty, as heard on the somber doom of "Transcending the Mire" during which one is encouraged to "release the pain" and "step into the light". That's nothing compared to the eight minutes of trauma that is "Baby Don't Cry", the raspy howls not only afflicting those in earshot with extreme tinnitus, but internal bleeding as well. Melody is not an afterthought either; though not exactly snappy, its presence on the excellent "Gethsemane" is unforgettable in the same way as a recurring nightmare that cannot be shook from the psyche. The bone crunching version of VENOM's "Warhead" is brilliant, rivaled only by beating administered at the hands of opening track "Code Black".

Much more than terror drone and dissonant pummel, "Twilight of the Gods" is composed with intelligence, yet never allows the listener to drift off into unfocused thought nor anything close to meditative healing. A bit much for the vacuous hordes and eternal optimists perhaps. That's just fine and dandy because "Twilight of the Gods" isn't for them. Its tortured-soul hymns are designed for those battling with blind rage, a lifetime of dead-end frustration, and/or perpetual disaffection. Not recommended for the budding sociopath.

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