Back in early 2020 (yes, in the Before Times), I told you about Blessed Black. There, I recounted how the band was a double pleasure: not only is their brand of no-holds-barred stoner metal just what I love, it’s also steeped in references to Michael Moorcock, one of the best and most underappreciated of authors. Well, the gang are back with “La Brea”, a standalone single that comes just as they prepare to enter the studio and record their next album. And boy, if this track is anything to go off of, I am incredibly excited for the next release. It showcases Blessed Black’s predilection of fuzz and big riffs but also injects that formula with a lot of melancholy. Had on down below for your first taste!
Man! As if the first half of this track wasn’t good enough, all three minutes of groovy deliciousness of it, the second half is even better. Utilizing a cleaner, more melancholy bridge, Blessed Black set up the huge solo that follows it. This dynamic reminds me of nothing else than Clutch‘s “White’s Ferry” and if you know anything about me, you know that’s a high compliment; “White’s Ferry” is one of my all time favorite pieces of music. “La Brea” evokes the same sensations within me, of longing and introspection but also a place of power and resolve. Come to think on it, the vocals also serve in the same role: there’s plenty in their timbre that can be picked up on as subdued, or even sad, on this track but the sum of all of their parts is one of evocative willpower and strength.
Long story short, things are looking good over in the Blessed Black camp. While you wait for their next release, you can grab some merch and all of their music over on their Bandcamp page. Don’t sleep on them; these guys are going places.