Black Sabbath inspired many a band and Yorkshire’s Black Moth are one of the best.
Combining huge dark riffing with stoner hooks this is British metal at its finest.
When you hear Black Moth’s latest opus strike up with its immediate head banging groove you almost know what to expect in terms of vocal accompaniment. And you’d be wrong. If you’re unfamiliar with this Leeds five piece you’d be in for a shock because instead of a howling, wailing air raid siren Ozzy impersonator you get the rather more refined tones of Harriet Bevan. Refined that is, but powerful, like someone successfully taming a volcano. Bevan has the kind of voice that even those that shy away from female fronted bands would have to be granite hearted not to be impressed by.
No matter how intense Black Moth make things, there sat at the front in complete unhurried control is the silken voice of an otherwise unassuming lass from God’s country. Once over this pleasant surprise it becomes apparent that far from being merely a vehicle for an undoubted talent Black Moth are a true team with all the band members contributing significantly to the whole. Everywhere you listen on any of the songs you hear little tell tale flourishes that set the best musicians apart from the crowd.
The timing and touch on the guitars during Looner is pure class. Similarly the way restraint is used to develop The Last Maze by the well coordinated bass and drums shows a superior understanding of how music works at an instinctive level. Once or twice it does have to be said things don’t quite click into place. White Lies tries a tad too hard to be different. In an attempt to add variety the flow of the album is temporarily lost. The production also goes slightly thin in places, a possible over compensation for all that low octave drive.
The title track and album closer is a fitting finale though. A blast of mesmeric sludge rock and singing six string indulgence this is where Black Moth excel. It’s a funny thing that so many bands seem to want to do songs that are overly long and bloated to twice the length they need to be, and yet here is one that could happily be twice its four or so minutes and I guarantee you’d never get bored with it. The easy going tempo along with a very slight eastern influence harks back to the origins of rock when bands would take trips (often literally) to far flung places like India and return inspired.
It’s this inspiration that Black Moth are carrying forward as part of the next generation of rock bands. They are keeping open a link to the roots of what made rock so great in the first place and at the same time giving it a home that fits with the music scene today. That’s some trick to pull off and with many of our more stately artists looking like they may not be around for much longer Black Moth might well be in a perfect position to keep the flag of tradition flying.
Condemned To Hope has taken the spirit of rock and built it a brand new body.