Black metal and grindcore are two of my favorite genres, and when those two get combined, I get pretty excited about the results. The two genres, at least sonically, seem to be a perfect combination, as both are often considered to be pretty abrasive and aggressive, as well as both being known for being extremely fast. Anaal Nathrakh and The Secret are a pair of bands that come to mind that mix the two genres together pretty well, and have released some great records over the years. Michigan’s Sunlight’s Bane are another such band, who also mix in a little bit of hardcore in the vein of Converge and Cursed, to create some truly angry sounding music.
The Blackest Volume: Like All The Earth Was Buried, the latest release from Sunlight’s Bane, is one truly savage record that really hits all the right buttons in the heaviness department. Things can go from blastbeats and black metal shrieks to sludgy, hardcore-influenced riffs at the drop of a hat, but the transitions between sounds are so smooth you almost don’t have time to think about what just hit you. “No Taste More Bitter” is a great example, with the grinding intro reminiscent of Trap Them, which gives way to a nightmarish blackened section with some truly shrill screams, then moves into a militant, hardcore-style marching rhythm, with the vocalist working himself to a fever pitch. I actually got goosebumps, it is truly that intense. As I mentioned, the grindcore elements, have hints of Trap Them and Rotten Sound, while the more blackened moments take on a somewhat old-school tone, though with a much thicker sounding low-end than your usual black metal recording. Album-opener, “Praise The Venom Shield,” really prepares you for what to expect on the rest of the album, and sets the bar pretty high for sheer intensity.
The production allows a lot of feedback to ring out in the mix, giving this record a somewhat live vibe (I’m reminded of Judas Goats and Dieseleaters by Ed Gein), though everything can be heard pretty clearly. Sunlight’s Bane have put together one awesomely fierce record here, and if you like your music angry and violent sounding, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of The Blackest Volume: Like All The Earth Was Buried.