Black Sheep Wall
I’m Going To Kill Myself
27th January 2015 – Season Of Mist
01. The Wailing and The Gnashing and The Teeth
02. Tetsuo the Dead Man
03. White Pig
Whenever Black Sheep Wall get mentioned, or I see the name, it brings to mind the night I was awoken by the mess of noise that is “Xiomara“, the final track on the band’s first album I Am God Songs. The nine minutes of ultra-grimy guitar slop followed by deranged bellowing, nasal spoken word and laughter, over some disgusting drum and bass noise, disturbed me no end at 2am. What it also did was shore up in my mind that Black Sheep Wall would be a band that I would keep coming back to over and over.
Anyone familiar with them will know this is far from easy listening, but unlike many other purveyors of sludgy detuned noise-rifferey, something about the songwriting of Black Sheep Wall creates an easy listening experience. Maybe it’s the crystal clear production; don’t get me wrong – this is loud, detuned (to drop G I believe) and supremely heavy – but to be able to hear and feel the presence of the whole drum kit behind the grit of the gnarled bass and heft of the guitars is a testament to good gear, great vision and even better engineering.
Maybe, then, it’s the way that what could be classed by some as monotonous song writing feels like the exact opposite. The riff in “Tetsuo The Dead Man” that goes for a minute from around 3:10, and much of the closer “Metallica“, elicits far more enjoyment and aural pleasure than most current bands attempts at trying to write the most excitingly syncopated, bendy-wendy one-note riff – and also, for that matter, feels heavier and more brootal than any similarly monoriffic deathcore beatdown. “I’m just so fucking bored” screams Brandon Gillichbauer 20 minutes into the 33 minute doom adventure that is “Metallica“, possibly tongue-in-cheek but definitely contrary to my listening experience. Whatever it may be, I’m Going to Kill Myself is truly crushing and disturbing in the best possible way.
The cover art is a perfect accompaniment to the album title and the music contained within. On the surface it appears welcoming – not mysterious or kvlt – but at the same time something feels not quite right.
There’s an un-nerving discomfort in the slow burning intensity of Black Sheep Wall’s musical output that has yet again been superbly captured on this recording. Younger musicians wanting to discover something a little more obscure and who are aiming to write heavy, creative music would do well to add this band – and this record – to the top of their list of bands to check out. This is anticipation-inducing art at it’s most finest; an anxiety attack waiting to happen. The refrain of “I’m going to kill myself” at the end of “Metallica” sums up what many might feel after being exposed to the snare sound on St. Anger, and is a fitting way to encourage pressing play on track 1 again. A fantastic album, and an inspiring start to 2015. Here’s to hoping every album these ears are exposed to this year is as enjoyable as I’m Going to Kill Myself.