When it comes to black metal, there is no end to the various sub-genres that have been created to cater to the tastes of its various fans. There are bands like Incursus, who play black metal derived from the 90's, or even a band like Sancta Poenas, who loves to dabble some psychedelia into their black metal. Probably one of the most "natural" of all the black metal sub-genres is a sect that combines both the harsh and unrelenting black metal with the equally as fierce crust punk. Enter Bone Awl, a band that takes traits from the best of both worlds, and sloppily yet successfully throws them together for their first and so far only full-length album Meaningless Leans Mess
When it comes to understanding the sound of Bone Awl, one must realize that while the band is raw, intense and savage, they are also very, very catchy. Take for instance the track "Without Hesitation", which even though incorporates both black metal and punk's ugliest traits, still in it's basic three chord structure also manages to hold on the catchy qualities of the aforementioned punk genre. With songs like "One Nothing Between" and "The Great Violence" the band takes the chords and vocals of black metal, and sets them up in muscular punk styled power chords. The only true "variety" that is to be found on Meaningless Leaning Mess
is that sometimes songs take a more black metal direction and sometimes they take the more punk influenced route. Bone Awl strictly adheres to their own unique brand of music, and surprisingly it works out very well in their favor. On songs like "Show Me" or "Big Decisions" and any other of the 16 songs on the album, you won't find any pretentious keyboard arrangements or some weird flute wankery; its loud, rude, hideous yet still one hundred percent completely enjoyable.
While Bone Awl definitely isn't reinventing the wheel when it comes to punk influenced black metal, they certainly still know how to craft one crazy fun album. Never once does the band strive to be more than they are, and in their dead honest approach to making music, Meaningless Mean Less
succeeds most definitely in becoming a classic in the rough around the edges punk black metal sub genre.