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Boomkat Product Review:
The fourth studio album from New Zealand's Black Boned Angel finds erstwhile Birchville Cat Motel proprietor Campbell Kneale retreating ever deeper into drone-metal abyss, on this occasion fashioning a concept album dedicated to the Battle Of Verdun, one of the key points of conflict between French and German armies in the First World War. Stretched across a single, fifty-two minute track, the album takes a compelling and considered narrative arc, beginning with gloomy passages of bomb-drop kick drum plunges before starting up a fearsome SunnO))) style harmonised guitar riff. Whining, siren-like signals soon waft into the mix, eventually dispersing the more musical, doomy figures in favour of sparse horn blasts from across a wide stereo field - it's an evocatively spacious piece, conveying a real sense of cinematic scale, but it's not long before those low-frequency, distortion blasted harmonies fire up again, this time taking on a more melodious, funereal tone. Further compounding the growing sense of this being a requiem of sorts, dramatic choral samples emerge from the background, with globs of noise continually being piled on top before eventually the final ten minutes or so screeches into life, no longer resembling a doomy, sludge-laden affair but rather a furious, disorientating mixture of what sounds like shouting, gunfire and airborne assaults all caked in distortion and vast swathes of drone. Extreme and ferocious stuff this, but to Kneale's credit it's handled with an appropriate level of sobriety and reverence.