Black Peaks have been a slowly accelerating steam train for the last few years. Whilst some may only have heard the name recently, the band have been building on their 2014 EP Closer to the Sun zealously; and like any steam train, now it’s rolling you either jump on, or you get flattened. Are they just blowing smoke? Debut album Statues proves that they are most definitely not.
Opening with Glass Built Castles, a lo-fi riff teases the listener before dropping into a rapid, heavy few lines then stripping it back to a slow verse of haunting vocal tones. This eclectic intro, and the introductory song itself demonstrate the diversityBlack Peaks have brought into Statues, promising huge potential which is soon delivered in full.
Thematically, there are some very developed ideas running through the album, becoming increasingly apparent as the band move into Crooks, demanding attention with “I’ve opened my eyes…” The more attentive listener might have begun to recognise a progressing narrative. This is the story of Ivan, a young man who takes on the bank and wakes up the world. His story builds to meteoric proportions matching the scope of the album.
Statues is sonically a very polished album, each song of the album’s impressive 51 minute breadth flowing together as one fluent package. Black Peaks change up the pace not only between songs, but within them, as Say You Will starts off with a measured introduction, before dropping one of the most memorable and chilling screams of the record.
The band’s lyrics are impressively articulate, standing out from many of their peers. It’s hard to pin a genre onto Black Peaks(and really, who’d want to?), but it’s safe to say they deftly sidestep the threat of becoming purely ‘politi-core’. They might not be quite content with the world, but this is a beautifully artful critique.
It’s hard to pick favourites on an album that works so cohesively as a whole piece, but opening track Glass Built Castles sticks out as the shocking yet awe-inspiring introduction to the record. Drones is also one of the most musically accomplished tracks the band have produced yet, experimenting with progressive tones, slipping into some djent-like muted riffs and nailing the lot. It’s quite something to see a band pull together so many different musical elements into such a magnificent tapestry.
Statues is a multi-faceted gem. Equally capable of guiding you through an atmospheric, thought-provoking journey as dropping you into a complex maelstrom of unyielding indignation. Black Peaks are set to be making huge waves with Statues, with its capacity to please the listener in both auditory and intellectual bounds.