Initially starting out as a band playing Black Sabbath covers, Italian heavy metallers Black Inside have grown into a strongly accomplished and captivating proposition as evidenced by new album A Possession Story. Casting a classic heavy metal sound with numerous dark flavourings embroiled in doom toned imagination, musically and emotionally, the album is a potent step from a band looking forward to having a very healthy presence within the European metal scene.
Formed in 2009, the Napoli hailing quintet soon moved from playing other’s tracks to writing and performing their own mix of infectious classic, eighties, doom, and epic metal. Autumn 2011 saw the band release the Servant Of The Servants demo which down very well with fans whilst garnering very positive media reviews. Across the December of the following year and the January of its successor, Black Inside recorded debut album The Weigher Of Souls which also upon release via Underground Symphony Records, earned rich praise and attention. Recorded towards the end of last year, the Neil Haynes mixed and mastered A Possession Story pushes the band’s name and sound to loftier heights and easy to expect broader spotlights on Black Inside.
The Red Cat Records released proposition opens with Man Is A Wolf To Men, a stirring slice of metal taking little time to awaken ears and appetite with its thrash lined riffery and ravenous mix of rhythmic and aggressive tenacity. There is a definite Metallica feel to the track, an inviting tone which is only accentuated by the guitars of Brian Russo and Eduardo Iannaccone, as well as the grizzly voice of Luigi Martino. Across its length, those same strings also spill tantalising sonic and melodic tempting and a dark drama which is carried deeper into the song by the bass of Vincenzo La Tegola. As you can say about the album overall, there are few major surprises with the encounter yet it has a fresh and powerful presence which only invites involvement.
The Siege Of Jerusalem follows and straight away has a heavier prowl to its gait and doomy air to its nature, guitars spinning a sinister web around the initially spoken vocals and portentous rhythms led by the spiky beats of Enzo Arato. Once setting the scene, the song twists into a more power metal bloomed canter, which maybe does not quite live up to the promise of its entrance but spins a captivating theatre of sound and words. Imagination is also a thick element of the encounter, slips into melodic caresses with impassioned vocals and a tapestry of skilled enterprise from the guitars for the main mesmeric.
The song Black Inside also makes a beguiling introduction, guitar seducing and dark vocals entwining before the song comes alive with sonic flames and a brooding tone of bass, all subsequently attributing to a heavy metal roar with a fusion of inventive unpredictability and sparkling melodic expression. It is a template continuing in both I’m Not Like You and King Of The Moon, though both cast individual and dynamic proposals of their own. The first has a spicy blues rock lining to its fiery rock ‘n’ roll whilst its successor, as in all songs to varying degrees, openly wears the band’s Black Sabbath seeding in its power balladry.
Things get heavier and more sonically flirtatious with Too Dark To See, tangy grooves and anthemic tendencies potent persuasion from early on and only increasing their temptation as the band evolves and twists them with further magnetic resourcefulness across its riveting body. The bass of La Tegola reveals a repertoire of sinister tones and invention alone, superbly and imaginatively backed by the theatre and adventure of the guitars. The best track on the album it is as good as matched by the album’s title track and its own haunted maze of sound and sinister imagination. It is almost imposing with its doom spawned breath and initial elegant collusion of instrumentation and resonating sounds, but it is also another which cannot quite keep its scintillating start consistently going across its whole adventurous landscape. Nevertheless the track is a cauldron of intensity and creative ingenuity which only leaves a healthy greed for more.
The mellow seducing of Forsaking Song with the excellent additional vocals of Sara Shade continues the by now hypnotic lure of A Possession Story whilst the creative stalking of Jeffrey from yet another irresistible introduction, swings into a lumbering beast of incitement. Its doom’ heritage’ is an open predation and persistently swaying the intent and tone of the track as it broadens its creative shoulders and thick mesh of sound with every passing minute and idea. Like Iron Maiden meets Candlemass, the song is eight minutes of provocative resourcefulness which every time it begins to labour in flavour or style manages to sculpt and whip out another thrilling and unpredictable twist.
The purest slice of classic metal rock ‘n’ roll on the album brings the album to a close, Pharmassacre an anthem to swing fists and vocal chords to, and though for personal tastes it is the weakest song, it still creates a lively and enjoyable close to a highly satisfying release.
A Possession Story is a grower too, a release sparking stronger pleasure as every listen reveals more of its more understated but potent qualities. It is fair to say that Black Inside is not ready to turn the heavy metal scene fully its way yet but their album certainly gives it a very inviting nudge.
A Possession Story is available now via Red Cat Records.