The ongoing war within the Metal community about “which genre is superior?”has been long battled for decades. In this war, there have been many brave bands looking to push the envelope by introducing audiences to the next extreme thing. Then there are others who have tried to be the peacemakers by taking inspiration from their predecessors and creating a completely new sound for the entire audience to enjoy. In their quest to define their own genre, Black Passage – Metal’s newest supergroup hailing from the Bay Area – have decided to do Metal their way with their new album The Veil.
With this independent release, Black Passage, who consists of members fromthe notable bands Fallujah, Wolf King, Behold the Desecration, Anisoptera, and WRVTH, are trying to make their mark as being the next big thing from the Bay Area. Like the legendary bands before them, they are challenging what is socially acceptable and considered popular in the Metal market. In this album, they incorporate elements from many genres across the Metal family tree in an attempt to define their own unique sound. What I love about it is that they try to marry the sounds from some of my favorite Metal styles.
The album opens with ‘Lost’ which gives us a very calm and mellow introduction. It shows us what the band is capable of in terms of musical composition and how they appreciate music styles beyond Metal. It plays like a long crescendo; starts of small, then increases and builds intensity in the middle, then mellows out in the end. It is then followed by the second track ‘Left To Waste’ which comes in very hard and greets us with beautifully melodic vocals accompanied by vicious growls. In this song, I noticed a lot of core influences from various genres. The album then takes a big shift when two of my favorite tracks on the album, ‘Lamenting Ghost’ and ‘Tables Turned’ which both introduces us to Grunge singing and Death Metal growls mixed with Progressive instrumentals. I found both songs extremely intoxicating. The latter having elements of Industrial instrumentals and a very NASTY breakdown. Those two tracks are then followed by a very heavenly intermission in its title track, ‘The Veil,’ which I was completely captivated by. It starts off very chill and then gets heavy halfway through the song. The band really put a lot of love into writing and composing this song. Some of the honorable mentions are ‘In Place of Us’ which is the most technically driven song on the album; ‘Trapped’ for its Slam influences; and ‘Broken Hand’ which is a love letter to both the Progressive and Death genres.
Overall, with this album, Black Passage uses their incredible talent to show us that Metal shouldn’t be confined to one distinct sound or style. That there a wide variety for us to love and enjoy and that the war of genres is completely unnecessary.
7 / 10