Review by Joey
Genre/s: Black metal
For Fans Of: Rhinocervs, Dispirit, Cirrhus, (early) Emperor
I'm going to be honest, I definitely have not been as into black metal (and metal in general) in the past few years as I once was, but this definitely piqued my interest. The complexities employed here, which often come across as subtle, definitely drive this sucker home. Don't mess with Texas, right?
On their debut tape, Ashlands, Oil Spill brings everything I want to hear from a black metal band to the table. The riffs are spacey and chilling, the songs are winding and tortuous, and occasionally they show a punky edge and even display an ear for noise. The noise is not just tape hiss and poor production, but reminds me of bands such as Black Dice (in their early days) in the way the songs become deconstructed and swell back up, includes atonal soloing akin to Black Flag and Void, and they incorporate some fantastic horror soundscaping and samples. And then of course there are the doomy parts on here which are just crushing and oddly mosh-worthy, which I wasn't expecting, but was a welcome surprise. Really, one of the most impressive things on this is the use of dynamic, building and collapsing song structures which have a truly ominous effect and actually feel organic/not contrived. There isn't a dull or wasted moment on this tape, which is certainly refreshing in a genre that often prides itself in self-indulgence.
It's hard to shoehorn comparisons, but I think the ones I listed are pretty good reference points. We're all quarantined, so what better time to listen to black metal (to be fair, I've been listening to mostly grind, art punk, and industrial/electronics, but I might get down this hole too)?
1. Great Black Pit
2. Bloodshed Obsession
Listen / Download (Bandcamp)