Leech [US]
Ten Black Hymns


4.0
excellent

Review

by Angel STAFF
March 9th, 2011 | 41 replies


Release Date: | Tracklist

Review Summary: All the beauty, all the energy, none of the gay shit.

Oregon black metallers Leech have made it clear they wish to stay in the background of the American Northwest scene, and it almost seems a shame since the band has the talent and prowess to turn the whole thing on its ass, should be they be so inclined to do so. While the members’ other projects (Mania, Ancestortooth, Velnias, etc.) have their own cult followings, this project might just show the most promise of all of them. Since the band’s conception in 2004, Leech have illustrated great diversity in their catalogue of only splits and demos while also sculpting a unique sound to call their own. As of late, this sound has shifted to include more of a post-black metal aesthetic with the folky Cascadian roots one might expect of a band with their geographical disposition, but the group’s debut, Ten Black Hymns, boasts a colorful and effective synthesis of that distinct folk flavor with blackened crust and hardcore. While this fusion might sound as odd as vanilla ice cream and balsamic vinegar, Leech manage to make the end result just as enjoyable. Maybe even more so.

Right out of the gate, the demo commands attention with energy and exceptional riffing. The up-tempo attitude and almost elegant chord choices make for a more-than-enjoyable listen, but it’s the little things that punctuate the album that elevate it to the next level. The guitar squeals are downright smile-inducing, and the acoustic passages are some of the strongest around. These things combined with thoughtful drumming and equally thoughtful (and audible) bass make for a dynamic, one-of-a-kind atmosphere. And so melody charges forth, hand-in-hand with aggression, achieving excellent results. This culmination of beauty and raw power is damn near mesmerizing, and the word “demo” hardly does justice when thinking of all the slapped-together twenty-or-so-minute rough drafts many underground bands have put out. It’s a work that feels more complete than many of the full-lengths of their contemporaries. Ten Black Hymns manages to be a body of music that’s not only well-crafted but genuinely fun to listen to.

Leech do some truly great things on their debut and have the potential to do even greater things for black metal music down the road. They’ve certainly managed to distinguish themselves from their peers and surely will continue to do so over the course of their career. With all the copycat bands roaming the Cascades, it’s nice to see this leech isn’t so parasitic. And best of all, they’ve given the gift of ten wonderfully black hymns worth revisiting again and again.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is the quickest I've ever done back-to-back reviews.

Was really on the fence about giving this a 4.5. It's really fucking good. Also be sure to check out their split with Thou.

Hawks
March 9th 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man. Album is really good.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2011


18886 Comments


Me want.

Sweet review.

Digging: Bee Mask - When We Were Eating Unripe Pears

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2011


16469 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Certainly one of the better cascadian bm albums/bands. I enjoy their side of the split with Thou as well, found it in the record store on vinyl a few months ago and couldn't pass it up.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, their side is the standout of that split (not to discredit Thou).

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2011


16469 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I liked Thou's side but it wasn't their strongest material at all.

liledman
March 9th 2011


3826 Comments


still need to listen to these guys

Dryden
March 9th 2011


13138 Comments


so awesome

SCREAM!
March 9th 2011


10342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. Good job man

Jethro42
March 9th 2011


12550 Comments


Ya dude. I like your writing pretty much.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dudes. Means a lot.

Tyrael
March 10th 2011


20947 Comments


Nice review, you're a good writer.

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Wizard
March 10th 2011


19616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn good review and I can see this album growing better in time.

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

jingledeath
March 10th 2011


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it will

Eakflanderyof
March 10th 2011


2143 Comments


Velnias being a member's side projects sparks my interest. Ima have to download this immediately

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You definitely should.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get the split too.

rasputin
March 11th 2011


14555 Comments


Love this demo. I reviewed this and Against Leviathan as a double review a while ago, band is just so good.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Totally. Everything these guys have put out has been quality. And they're always changing up their sound.

DeafMetal
March 11th 2011


8588 Comments


kills



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