Those who are familiar with the above name probably know what to expect here. Black Sheep Wall are not known for their subtlety and the album name should be enough of a hint that nothing is about to change in that regard. I’m Going To Kill Myself is a powerful album at parts which leans on two foundations: in-your-face relentless vocals and cleverly arranged drums and guitars. As long as it keeps to these two tenants, it works. However, once it departs from them, it disintegrates into chaos that is never appealing in its madness nor justified by its statement.
The first track, ‘The Wailing and The Gnashing…’ is probably the best track on the album. It’s beginning is ultimately depressing in its simplicity: broken vocals express their disgust with the protagonist itself, his family and the world in general. The guitars are so simple and penetrating that they are the hand which ties the noose and sends the listener down to bleak depths. This continues until it suddenly erupts in sludge-y violence, with three minutes left on the timer.
It finally ends, and ends well, on abrasive shrills which lead into the second track, ‘Tetsuo The Dead Man’. Successful ‘Akira’ reference aside, this track continues the sludge and doom foundations contained in the end of the first track, incorporating the shrills quite well into the background. The guitar is once again exemplary, as it creates this repeated pattern through the track which returns to haunt us.
This is where the good news ends. ‘White Pig’, the next track, is sans obvious references and also sans anything to distinguish itself from the last track. Sure, it’s a bit faster at parts but for the most parts it stays on the same path and level as its predecessor. Now, if you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know we are not impartial to doom and its deceptive repetition. The trick is to hide the variance and originality in the spaces between iterations.
When first listening to this album, one might himself giving it a chance, hoping these little variations will arise. However, by the third or fourth spin it becomes sadly apparent that no such snippets of inspiration are forthcoming. After ‘White Pig’, the album launches itself into a thirty-three minute track called ‘Metallica’. Jokes aside, this track satisfies itself with the same tools we’ve already heard on this album: scraped-raw vocals, thick riffs which intone again and again their crushing message and accompanying drums that fill the background with noise.
But the problem with this track is, not surprisingly since it takes up most of the run time, is the same problem with the album: it just doesn’t go anywhere. Black Sheep Wall know what they’re doing and it’s quite clear the message of hate and despair they’re aiming for. But there’s just not enough subtlety to justify the overall regurgitation. In this day and age, saturated with bands which manage to live beneath their main riffs, in the hidden spaces of static and silence, this album is just not good enough. It has vision and emotional strength but lacks an expert execution that makes it engaging.
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Black Sheep Wall’s I’m Going to Kill Myself gets…