Black Hole of Calcutta – Self Titled

As dark and dangerous as the band name, the self titled album from Black Hole of Calcutta is a festering sore of noise and intensity which leaves one gasping for breath but fully satisfied.  It is a destructive storm upon the senses, an aural corruption brought with expertise and a torrent of spite.

The album is the second with the same name to be released by the band and precedes a discography cd of past splits and EPs which is also available now. From Portland/Seattle, Black Hole of Calcutta create a disruptive tempest of punk, hardcore, and grindcore with more than a healthy spattering of crust and black metal to name a mere  two of its additives. They are not good for the health and openly destructive but as shown by the release also the creators of outstanding and essential pleasures. The album is incessant and merciless, a rampage which often leaves no time to appreciate the creativity spawning beneath the abrasive surface, but under the squall there is skilful inventive from a band as tight and vicious as you could wish.

Starting with the immense Myth Of Progress, the release is aural violence to either run from or welcome with open arms, the first option leads to safety the latter to rewards which far out way the hospital bills. The opener actually is arguably the least destructive track and part of an inviting sludge metal top and tailing to the song itself and the release as a whole. Once into its stride the track attacks every synapse with venom dripping vocal screams and shouts upon crippling rhythms. The guitar work is impressive bringing a groove to drool over and riffs which are manipulative in the extreme. The track is over five minutes of striking play and invention brought with unrivalled ferocity.

It is from this point where if you blink you miss, the following eleven songs ranging from the barely passing of two minutes down to the length of taking a deep breath, which one has to often under the fierce assault. Tracks using mere splinters of time have always brought enthused passion here, their brief yet punchy presence often far more effective and powerful than the laboured lengths of some songs, it is definitely the case here.

The following Age Of Extinction scrapes away flesh to instigate a blistered attack which leaves only debris in its wake whilst the punk cored Truth Is Never Told with hypnotic rhythms beneath rousing guitars and the predatory Total Collapse with its excellent instant switches in pace and weight, leave one shell shocked but fully gratified. Within their songs the band offer so much that initially it is hard to take it all in and within such short stays it is again impressive how diverse, unpredictable, and persistently inventive the songs are.

Further highlights come with the diseased grind of Cirrhosis, the tumultuous Nightmares, and the brutal  Arm The Hopeless, a track which in forty seconds is a compulsive car crash for the senses. The closing Vultures stakes a claim for best track with its filthy rock variance in collision with punk aggression. It is nasty and full of vehemence but totally contagious especially with that closing sludge feel.

All the tracks are of equally strong quality and creativity on the album and mark Black Hole of Calcutta as a band destined to grab the attention they deserve at some point. The band might blast the senses to pulp and corrupt the ear with blistering speed and unbridled aggression but they do it with an invention which is g rare in extreme noise. Find out for yourselves by grabbing a name your price copy of this album at their page @ bhoc.bandcamp.com  , it could be one of the best things you do this year.

RingMaster 07/08/2012

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