BLACK ANVIL “Regenesis”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This New York black metal crew pop up every few years with a new album, which gets talked about for a month or two and then promptly forgotten until the next cycle begins. With the title of “Regenesis”, perhaps they see themselves as reinventing the band and their sound.

The album is well produced and competently played but leaves me pretty cold. I know that past BLACK ANVIL works were more aggressive and darker than this. They do try to mix things up here and they succeed in giving each track its own identity, but the songs are generally softer, more melodic. The title track is almost shoegazy and cuts like “Silver & Steel”, “Echoes & Tapestry” and “NYC Nightmares” just seem to be lacking something vital. “In Two” and “8 Bit Terror” bring more of the aggression but to me, they just seem to be standard black metal tracks. BLACK ANVIL don’t sound like they want your blood, they seem more content to tweak your nose.

I do like some clever touches, like the big brass sounds in “Grant Us His Love” and the cold, queasy and constantly shifting feel of “29”, but it’s not enough to elevate the album. There is some darkness on “Regenesis” but it’s a rather mild darkness in a time that is crying out for really malevolent music. I don’t think this will get BLACK ANVIL over the hump they’ve been trying to cross for more than a decade now.