I think we can all agree it is seriously hard to be truly original in the music scene now and just as difficult to be noticeably unique against the hordes of other bands tempting time and attention. A few though do instinctively stand out through sound or presence to stand many steps from the masses, and one such proposal is US based groove metallers Black Oil. Their sound is a furious maelstrom of various strands of metal, Latin and worldly invention, and a defiant passion which binds it all for one, as shown by their new album, blistering and rousing confrontation. Resist To Exist is a riot in the imagination, a tempest in the ears, and an anthemic incitement just leaving the body alive.
Calling LA home, Black Oil originally emerged from Brazil with a sound crafted and honed with a unique blend of cultures and years of experiences gained by founder Addasi Addasi, whose travels have taken in the life and flavours of over thirty countries. Since forming the band has earned a big reputation and following through a previous pair of acclaimed albums, including the predecessor to their new encounter, the Logan Mader (Machinehead, Soulfly, DevilDriver, Gojira, FFDP) produced the Not Under My Name, as well as a live presence which has seen them play with the likes Megadeth, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Soulfly, Otep, Cavalera Conspiracy, Arch Enemy, Anthrax, Cattle Decapitation and many more. Their renowned metal-samba sound and hard hitting politically charged lyrics has made Black Oil a hungrily devoured proposition already, and now with Resist To Exist it is easy to expect even greater reactions and spotlights on the band, the album simply one of the most exhilarating incitements of the year.
Produced by Cristian Machado of Ill Nino, with many other contributions, Resist To Exist sees the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Addasi, vocalist Mike Black, bassist /vocalist Drew Petropoulos, and drummer Michael Gomez joined by a host of guest contributions including Fear Factory/Archaea’s Raymond Herrera and ex-Static X/Soulfly and now Fear Factory bassist Tony Campos amongst them. This and the unbridled imagination and ideation soaking songs all goes to create incendiary tapestries of sound and energy which from the opening track makes Resist To Exist one feverish conquest of body and emotions.
It all starts with Rise Up, a song with its intent in its title and success in a character which just will not accept anything less than full involvement from the listener. From its first breath, riffs and rhythms are a cauldron of enticing intensity, a tenacious prelude to swiftly joining and just as quickly virulent grooves. Aligned to the guttural roar of Black, the track is in full violent swing in seconds, its rhythmic hips casting a commanding swagger as guitars and bass cast an inescapable web of searing grooving and infectious riffery. Like Five Finger Death Punch meeting Powerman 5000, but so much more, the track is an incendiary device of invigorating and exhausting metal contagion, raw alchemy to get the blood and energy rushing through anyone’s veins.
The ferocious start continues with the just as explosive Justified where malevolently swung beats and a carnivorous bass tone add their great grouchiness to a wind storm of sonic hostility, and that is just the initial impact on the senses. Soon Middle Eastern hints stir within a spicy expulsion of guitar before the track puts its head back down for another hellacious and rabid stomp. As much death and industrial like as it is a grooved fury, the encounter continues to ignite and incite ears and thoughts before passing the senses over to Callate. The third track, which features Campos on bass and vocals, is a predator of emotional bedlam and creative unpredictability, its sound as diverse and ravenous as the vocals fuelling its inner corrosive rage, and as irresistible.
Exoskeleton savages ears with its vocal and rhythmic hostility next, whilst simultaneously seducing the imagination with a tangy web of melodic grooving and feistily flavoured enterprise. The result is something which roars like a blend of Fear Factory and Devildriver yet equally only has its own distinct animus of sound and intent. It is a flesh searing bellow leaving the body shell shocked and ready to be taken on a fiery ride by the following Combustion. From its initial fierce caress of sound, Latin bred percussion and melodic hues are enriching the song’s rhythmic and sonic tempting, elements of bands like (Hed) PE and Bang Data joining the muscular rebellion and expelling even greater influence as the track springs its bruising anthemic shuffle. Joined by guest Silverio Pessoa on vocals, Black is the ringleader of one addiction forging, body igniting tempest. The guitars alone create an enslaving persuasion with their relentless and evocatively creative twists whilst the percussive aspect of the song aided by Mario Pallais, is simply a puppeteer on the listener.
One brilliant encounter makes way for another in the insatiable shape of Revolution. Featuring and driven by the ravenous rhythmic swings of Herrera, the track is a bestial onslaught but one littered with infectious grooves and sonic devilment. The track is psychotic, never allowing the listener to make assumptions on its direction and with more guests involved, evolving character. The same can be said about Stand Against Everything which comes straight after, the song akin to the last and taking certain aspects of its persuasion into its own persistently evolving and fiery samba.
Resist To Exist closes with Paper Slave, a final aggressive and venomously inflamed uprising of creative hostility and impassioned defiance. It comes shaped with cantankerous riffs, merciless rhythms, and mesmeric invention, bone breaking hostility merging with worldly and emotive resourcefulness. Stuck Mojo and Ill Nino come to mind as it ravages air and ears but again the song in reality is something else again, and though maybe not matching earlier heights, it leaves the listener only wanting more upon departure.
Black Oil brings something different and relentlessly exciting to the metal table with Resist To Exist. Some tracks soar above others in creative adventure and sheer compelling power but all leave a greedy hunger and thick pleasure behind them. Who can want much more than that?
Resist To Exist is available now via Sliptrick Records through most digital stores.