Black Peaks
All That Divides


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jack Wilson USER (2 Reviews)
October 5th, 2018 | 89 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Black Peaks push the boundaries with their sophomore effort; crafting a near-perfect masterpiece with complex compositions and brilliant vocals demonstrating a more mature, refined sound.

Black Peaks are a monolith - in almost every sense of the word. Born from the underground scene of Brighton, their debut 'Statues' came seemingly from out of nowhere, blisteringly heavy with enough riffs to make Oceansize and Mastodon blush. Since then - 2016 - they've shot up from obscurity into a fair amount of success: radio play, big support slots including Marmozets and Deftones and very warm critical reception. Teasing singles for quite a while now, All That Divides is a culmination of multiple tours and a hell of a lot of hype; and it payed off handsomely.

Starting with the first single, 'Can't Sleep' is the perfect intro: a fast build-up into a crashing riff and Dillinger Escape Plan-esque spacticity, perfected with the powerful vocals of Will Gardener - the first noticeable highlight of the album. His lyrical prowess is a constant on this album, and has progressed from a constant fry-scream (which was no flaw, don't get me wrong) to a more subdued clean, at least on some tracks. On songs like the second: 'The Midnight Sun'; he erupts into a huge near 20-second, ear-shattering cry, and it's very clear from then on that All That Divides, despite it's differences, is not a complete departure from Statues. It still packs the same punch and is pulled off with the exact same amount of raw talent. In fact, all of the aforementioned track is a highlight of Black Peaks' discography. It's a shining example of all that they are good at, heavy post-hardcore with ample sprinklings of prog elements perfectly melded together in a complex-but-catchy composition.

This formula is really well used across the whole album, however it can get predictable at some points, which holds the album back from its experimental nature but is mostly no detriment to it. Still, it is a small shame that moments on tracks like 'Aether' build and build and never get a chance to explode with the glory of the rest of AtD's style. Aether does set up an interesting path for Peaks to follow, however: a cleaner, alt-rock style of song that gets a chance to explore its heavier roots but stays subtle for the most part. Coincidentally, they follow up on this in the next track 'Across the Great Divide', which is executed with more success that Aether and is overall a great track. This style of songwriting is consistent for the rest of the album, and they continue to add heavier moments to each track, like the blindingly fast bridge of 'Eternal Light' and spoken word section from 'Home' all the way up until the crushing closer 'Fate I & II'.

The instrumentation on this album is very non-linear compared to that of Statues. Arpeggios turn to violent outbursts and solos, and the bass gets the forefront on many occasions, particularly when a song is going to change to chorus, like in The Midnight Sun and penultimate Slow Seas. Liam Kearley is a beast on this record - the drumming on so many of the tracks being as intricate as they are supportive to the sound of the rest of the band. Each element is put together so flawlessly, even on the album's lesser moments thanks to the production and mastering. It can sound a little cluttered at times but overall the band has created a brilliant sound and overarching concept: all leaders of the world have completely lost their humanity, and the record acts as an analysis into our current political situation in a relatively unorthodox and progressive way. All in all, its masterfully structured and cleverly nuanced with all sorts of different layers, both in terms of words and compositions.

All the Divides shines lyrically and musically, with brilliant riffs, complex drums and thoughtful vocals. Everyone in the 4-piece gets their skills appreciated, especially with the rhythm section lending itself to the album more than on their debut; it really makes the album feel more complete combined with the great production on each track. It is a complete triumph, blowing Statues out of the water and demonstrating a new, more refined sound for Black Peaks, though without a loss of edge or heaviness. Their debut was great, but this effort could just cement Black Peaks as not just an amazing band, but a staple in their genre.


user ratings (80)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
related reviews

Statues


Comments:Add a Comment 
JS19
October 5th 2018


6834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God I can't wait to hear this in full. Have caught a lot of these songs live and they slap

Digging: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - King of Cowards

JS19
October 5th 2018


6834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shame about the poor drum mastering compared to the debut though

supremejelly
October 5th 2018


954 Comments


Good review; agreed this album rocks. Not sure how it stacks against Statues yet. One thing for sure, Statues had much better mastering. Like someone else said, drums here are neutered when they were insanely good on the debut.

Small suggestion: I'd separate the part of the second paragraph starting with "This formula is really well used across the whole... " into a new paragraph. Might improve the flow

Digging: Black Peaks - All That Divides

StickFeit
October 5th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bit of a let down tbh.. Eternal Light is so fucking good tho.

supremejelly
October 5th 2018


954 Comments


On a few more reslistens, each song has something big to offer. This grooves mad hard

Hawks
October 5th 2018


60799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Def gotta hear this.

Digging: Shyne - Godfather Buried Alive

JS19
October 6th 2018


6834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just a shout. I know you lowered your rating from a 4.5 to a 4.0 but that makes the *near-perfect masterpiece* bit in the tagline seem a bit weird

sizeofanocean
October 6th 2018


674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Only the mastering/production hold this back. Incredible sophomore effort

StickFeit
October 6th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's getting better and better

Mardorien
October 6th 2018


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh! Hadn't realised these guys had released a new album. I thought their previous work was promising, listening to this now. Good review, pos'd.



Edit: Holy shit, Midnight Sun is epic.

Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]

Mardorien
October 6th 2018


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Where the hell are the bass drums? They barely even register. The snare sounds hollow as well. They need much more punch...

sizeofanocean
October 6th 2018


674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hope the avg is gonna remain over 4 when more ratings are coming in. Very well deserved

sizeofanocean
October 7th 2018


674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Super freaking hyped to see them in about three weeks. Saw them already once and they delivered the goods for real

ItsTheSquirrel
October 7th 2018


49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This was a little disappointing but good nontheless

Digging: Stam1na - Taival

Scoot
October 7th 2018


19099 Comments


aether is a contender for soty

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2018


788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

first time jamming these guys, this is really enjoyable (and agreed about Aether)

Digging: portrayal of guilt - Portrayal of Guilt

NorwichScene
October 7th 2018


2668 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aether starts off nice, but it’s way too long. ‘I will not loose face’ repeated over and over gets boring half way through.



I think the long tracks, that don’t reallly go anywhere, bring this down for me



Digging: Gunship - Dark All Day

EclipseInYourEyes
October 7th 2018


82 Comments


As far as I can sum up the comments and reviews so far: It's much like Statues, only more mature and somehow the production screwed up the drums?

NorwichScene
October 7th 2018


2668 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It’s not as good as Statues

StickFeit
October 7th 2018


969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It’s not as good as Statues [2]



And I agree with your other points as well.



It's still a very enjoyable album!



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