Real Statement Of Intent
It has been a great couple of years for Leeds based Black Moth. Their debut album, released in 2012, was highly received across most media outlets, and the band have gone on to score some impressive slots at some of the big time festivals. With all that in the bag then, what of the follow up album Condemned To Hope? Well like so many other publications we are often accused of overstating our positivity about some releases but with real sincerity here, Black Moth have absolutely struck gold with this record. In the past their music has been good, but at times it became an exercise of picking out bits and pieces and pointing towards one of the several influences going into the music. But with Condemned To Hope they've amped it up, and it really feels like a statement of "this is US" - of course you can still hear strong influences from the likes of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, etc. but there is so much more to it this time round.
Kicking off the album is the dark and moody Tumbleweave as sinister riffs plough through your consciousness throughout the doom fuelled first half of the track building along to an unbelievable flurry of groove and excellent musicianship towards the end. It is a superb opener, combining elements together in the space of four minutes which you're treated to in greater detail as the record progresses. The guitar work across the album is perhaps the stand out aspect, creating this beautifully sludgy sound with these dirty, greasy sounding riffs, but a lot can also be said of the bass tone which sounds perfect throughout. And of course the star of the show, Harriet Bevan, delivers soaring vocals with the kind of swagger and attitude needed to make the desired impact.
Another key track on the album is Looner which sounds like the result of what you'd get after locking Nirvana and Kyuss in a dark room for a week - brilliantly measured aggression which will have heads banging across venues when performed live. The first track released from the album was Room 13 a couple of weeks ago (of course getting a special mention because of its name!) but this is one of those tracks which in many ways epitomises this exciting new feel to Black Moth.