Black Peaks get filthy and fantastical as their debut album finally arrives.
Label: Easy Life / Sony RED
Released: 8th April 2016
How do you solve a problem like ‘Glass Built Castles’? Interesting, surprising yet deep enough to properly latch onto, it’s the sort of debut track that could easily overshadow anything placed near it. It’s a good job Black Peaks don’t do flukes then. We’ve had our suspicions for a while though. ‘Saviour’, ‘Set In Stone’ and ‘Crooks’ are all just as daring and just as exciting but it’s when they slot into the ‘Statues’ that Black Peaks really start showing off. Intense and constantly shifting, from the opening hammer of ‘Glass Built Castles’, the record doesn’t let up.
‘Hang ‘em High’ is a snarling and unforgiving beast while the twitching blows of ‘Drone’ land time and time again. The pointed finger attack of ‘White Eyes’ sees the band curl their upper lip before the closing fury of ‘To Take the First Turn’ ends the record as strongly as it began. Despite the constant weight and aggression of the record, ‘Statues’ is a surprisingly agile listen. The constant movement is seamless, despite the many parts at play, and the fantastical storytelling creates entire worlds to get lost in. Wrestling with control, offering vengeance and trying to create something lasting, the world of ‘Statues’ is as crushing and bleak as the music that soundtracks its dark fairytale, but there’s beauty within that.
Moments of calm offer brief windows of reflection but it’s the many times Black Peaks are locked at full, fascinating acceleration that ‘Statues’ is truly stunning. To move as one is poetry in motion and Black Peaks cover a lot of ground. Their debut album is rugged and filthy yet offers a cohesion and craft that shows an artists touch. More than a collection of incredible songs, ‘Statues’ is a united declaration of want, offering surprise and escape time and time again. The only problem now is how do you top this? Ali Shutler