Formed in October of 2017, what started as a few riffs and a casual hangout in a dirty Cincinnati band space quickly became a project of passion and determination amongst four friends. Frontman and guitarist Joshua Murphy brings a plethora of experience to the table as a member of the accomplished thrash metal band War Curse, complimented by the creativity of fellow guitarist and long time friend Chris Emerson, the seasoned chops of drummer Ray Bates, and powerhouse bassist Brad Bellamy.
Blessed Black will unleash their debut album titled Beyond the Crimson Throne on January 17th 2020. The seven song debut, produced by Brian “Bone” Thorburn of Threshold Studios, will feature re-released versions of the band’s singles “The Black Gate” and “Stormbringer”, with the best yet to come. When asked about Beyond the Crimson Throne, Joshua Murphy had this to say:
This album is a representation of the journey we took together as musicians, finding our sound and learning to become a band. The result is better than we could have imagined and we hope you all enjoy it.
You can never have enough doom/stoner metal in my opinion. However, it would be foolish to ignore that the genres are a little full with barely even standing room available. With a glut of meatiness, be it the style that leans more to the traditional sound of doom or one that lays the fuzz on thickly for that sweet and choking stoner taste, there’s plenty to go around.
So it takes something pretty damn special to get the attention. What is that? Only bloody Blessed Black’s exceedingly good debut.
Beginning with all the fuzz anyone could ever hope for, The White Wolf echoes with brooding intensity. It’s moody but catchy as all hell and things get even better on the following The Black Gate. Here, the vocals enter and man, we have some brilliant singing to go alongside the trippy fuzziness of the riffs. What a rager this is and combined with the opening track and the following groove of Heavy is the Crown, confirms Beyond the Crimson Throne as something special only three tracks in.
…but Blessed Black are just getting started and The Shadows delivers a stunning showcase of doomy guitars. A slower drawling set of vocals matches the tempo of the rhythm perfectly. Before Arioch’s Bargain goes for a faster and groovier sound. Albeit covered in Blessed Black’s stoner/doom richness.
It’s all so good, so very good but the best is yet to come.
Finding the Limits is spectacular showcase of modern doom. The buzz of the guitars gives the impression of a bunch of flies buzzing around the skull but the vocals are buttery smooth and light enough to lift the mind out of the doomy mire. Simply amazing.
All good things must end and Stormbringer sees Blessed Black nail the finale of their transformative record. I say transformative because this is the kind of record that you could play to a hater of doom and they would have their mind changed. It seems impossible for it to be any other way. Miss this album and you can be sure you’re going to be missing out on one of the best releases of 2020.
Blessed Black – Beyond the Crimson Throne Full Track Listing:
1. The White Wolf
2. The Black Gate
3. Heavy is the Crown
4. The Shadows
5. Arioch’s Bargain
6. Finding the Limits
Blessed Black - Beyond the Crimson Throne (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9.5/10