Next Tuesday, June 5, marks the North American release of German atmospheric sludge outfit Black Shape of Nexus‘ third album, Negative Black. It’s their first outing through Exile on Mainstream and follows four years after its predecessor, 2008’s Microbarome Meetings. The delay is fascinating enough — since it was only a year before that B.SON, as they’re acronymically known, released their debut — and I’d love to speculate on what perhaps might have caused it, but it seems my skull has suddenly been pummeled by a massive sledge of inhuman tonal weight and darkly hopeless ambience.
I guess that means I’m listening to Black Shape of Nexus, because while they’ve put huge effort in the past into their aesthetic presentation — releasing albums in golden tin boxes, etc. — the density of their atmosphere has always been at the fore, and it remains so for Negative Black. The record is a confounding 80 minutes long and takes the churning malevolent tempest of rhythm that Neurosis‘ Through Silver in Blood so readily conjured and marries it to an expansive and vicious experimentalism that’s indebted and irreverent in like proportion. Atop a bed of abrasive electronics and noise, the riffs of a song like “60 WV” make the listener feel all the more doomed.
And for an intro? Well, how’s six minutes of punishing-as-fuck feedback set to a crawling drumbeat? The Mannheim post-sludge six-piece have no problem working in indulgent spheres, but Negative Black, ultimately, is immersive the way you think of an undertow as something that consumes, and the more it plays out, the further into your skin it seems to be burrowing. That’s not mixing metaphors (well, it is, but it’s on purpose). It’s in you as you’re in it. Communion.
You’ll find the monolith in its entirety streaming on the player below, followed by the release info from Exile on Mainstream. Please enjoy:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Available on CD in a matte-varnished six-panel digifile and on 180g double LP in a ultra-heavy gatefold cover (LP is limited to 500 copies).
Awaiting a new release hasn’t been that unnerving ever, as EOM signed B.SON four long years ago and since then the band has been working to get this new album done. They underwent numerous lineup changes, short-term hiatusses, phases of utter productivity and periods of calm as well as those of energy. This all has been channeled into an album drawing a true emotional landscape of current Black Shape of Nexus. We hope you enjoy it. It’s a task! 80 minutes long!!! Yes, you read that right. 80 minutes of pure sonic assault!
Recorded in the mild winter of 2011/12 and twisted into shape at the mighty Tonmeisterei studio this album marks a new step for Black Shape of Nexus, postulating a path into their foreseeable future. We don’t need to rave about the fact that this is their best recording to date and we have never heard anything better from them or any other band in the entire known universe, do we? You wouldn’t find this band on this label if we wouldn’t be 120 percent convinced that these guys can save the world. Or tear it down. Whatever…
For more, including tour dates, check out Black Shape of Nexus‘ website, or hit them up on Thee Facebooks. Exile on Mainstream is online here. Special thanks to the label and to Earsplit PR for letting me feature the album.Tags: Black Shape of Nexus, Exile on Mainstream, Germany, Mannheim