Review Summary: Yet another awesome UK band!
Progressive hardcore quartet Black Peaks come from Brighton, UK. The band initially formed in 2012 as an instrumental math-rock three-piece under the name ‘Shrine’. After a few months of playing with no vocalist they then discovered Will Gardner and released three singles together.
Staues is an ambitious debut album perfectly combining progressive rock, metal and hardcore together. The record has a bold introduction with the remastered opening track ‘Glass Built Castles’. It immediately caught my attention with its brilliant riffs, fast drums and Will’s coarse yells and impressive singing. The track builds up nicely before unpredictability cutting out transitioning into a calmer melodic sound. Pleasant harmonies give way to thunderous guitars in the chorus.
‘Crooks’ and ‘Say You Will’ are the other previously released singles that have been remastered for the album. Will’s unique voice makes the band’s songs memorable as he has the talent to blend shattering vocals with melodic singing whilst complimenting the bands instrumentation.
The fast-paced 7-minute epic ‘Hang Em High’ is the longest track on the record and showcases their early math-influences. Another long 6-minute track is ‘Drones’, which provides a progressive intro, post-hardcore verse, Oceansize style chorus, Tool inspired weird melodic work driving the track and finally delving off into slightly Karnivool tone (I think that’s enough name drops for one song). It’s quite unbelievable how they manage to mesh so many influences together for a debut album. That’s how impressive these guys endless range of sound is on ‘Statues’.
‘Set in Stone’ is the most accessible song. This track shows the more popular radio friendly side of the band. Will's verses have a Jeff Buckley vibe to them that contrasts with the chorus.
Nearing the end of the album, ‘White Eyes’ is another highlight with its alt-rock chorus, strong harmonies, layered guitars, frantic drumming and yet again showing off Will’s singing abilities. Jamie Lenman (ex- Reuben), appears on album closer “To Take The First Turn“, unleashing his trademark throaty bellows trading off with Will’s over some thunderous post-metal riffs.
Overall, I would say ‘Statues’ is a real accomplishment for Black Peaks. This debut album is a statement of intent, full of promise and oozes creativity. You can tell the band just wanted to please themselves mixing all their favourite genres together and it pleases us too.
For fans of: Arcane Roots, Oceansize, Reuben and Mastodon