TRISTWOOD - Blackcrowned Majesty
July 19, 2020, 3 months ago
This Australian band scared me off a bit by adding the descriptor “industrial” after “black metal/death metal/grindcore” when approaching us with this record; luckily, my love of grindcore is stronger than my distrust of industrial, so I signed up to check this one out. And I'm pretty happy I did, based on tunes like the raging “He Who Traversed A Greater Oblivion”, the song a great midpoint between first-gen Earache grind and modern Anaal Nathrakh chaos.
And there's the industrial reference, that band's cold, clanking antagonism shining through loud and clear here, really, Tristwood delivering what Anaal Nathrakh have down pat, this take on mechanized grinding death, the soul of a new machine, one that hates your bloody guts, the band here on their fifth album pretty annoyed that I haven't heard their first four, but also really not giving a shit as they lay waste to sounds both grinding and admirably deathy but also cringeworthy and groove-electronic (“Her Wraith Through Stygonian Lands”, hard pass on that one) and even four-on-the-floor hot rockin', as on the pretty great “Acherontic Deathcult” and closer “Nightshade Eternal”. I dunno, when it's done I'm left thinking, yeah, the “industrial” descriptor was a fair warning for all I didn't like on it, and the stuff I did like (“Bone Cathedral”s maniac death/grind, for example) was pretty great.