Black Skies' Hexagon | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Black Skies' Hexagon 


At the moment, several Southern metal bands offer some of the most dynamic, nuanced and fresh approaches the genre has enjoyed in some time: While Miami's Torche (above) lifts pop from murky depths, Savannah's Baroness winds sinuous lines between drone, sludge, thrash and blues. Like Bocephus possessed, Wilmington's Weedeater crackles, staggers and sneers, while Atlanta's Mastodon parlays prog precision into triumphant arches and epics. Locally, Tooth piles so many layers into its rumble that the distortion acts as an invitation to pearl dive into an oil spill. Indeed, for metal bands in the South, the iron is hot, if you're willing to step out on a musical ledge.

Hexagon, the second EP from Chapel Hill trio Black Skies, gets by on competence with punk truncation and Black Sabbath power, but it does little else: Opener "The Quiet Before The Storm" sets the tone quickly. Nearly two minutes of plunging chords come caked thick with distortion, hesitantly lumbering forward before launching into "Smoke & Mirrors." Frontman Kevin Clark castigates Orwellian society and social injustice, growling "Lay down the road/ Pave it from bone and arrows." Like the confused, defenseless peasants in the song, we're waiting for a change, an upheaval. But it never comes.

For the new greats working out of a Sabbath-is-sacrosanct mold, a tenuous relationship stands between one riff and the next. The riffs can stretch like taffy, dragging on and on, only to twist and taunt once the hypnosis of repetition has set in. It's what keeps us on our toes, engaged for long, winding songs. Black Skies' brevity and its need to get to the point betrays a reluctance toward ornamentation and complication. While this unchanging siege-warfare approach pairs well with Clark's growls, his acid-bathed roars lose impact because they're so unopposed. The guitars, bass and drums—all loud enough and well-played, sure—simply kick hard and heavy. Eventually our eyes grow accustomed to that static of dark. Suddenly, the skies don't seem as fearsome or as black as they once did.

Black Skies plays the Reservoir Friday, July 4, at 10 p.m. with Tooth and Ruscha.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review

Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

This release will be available Friday December 4th here:

Thanks! …

by Scott Phillips on Review: The electronic excellence of GNØER's Tethers Down (Record Review)

You should have let Currin write this. One of the best singers on earth and these were your observations? sounds …

by Remo on Record review: Jeanne Jolly's A Place to Run (Record Review)


© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation