Black Shape Of Nexus [DE] †

Black Shape Of Nexus hail from the German city Mannheim (even though they are now spread out around different cities). They founded in 2005 from a strong background in D.I.Y and Hardcore. Their music is now firmly routed in the slow and heavy and you can hear influences from ambient/drone music as well as from crust punk and other nasty exploitations of all that is raw. With numerous tours under their belt and a vast number of releases, the band has eaten enough dust to know the deal.

They have played across the continent and have appeared on bills at a host of renowned festivals including Roadburn (2008), which brought the band to the attention of heavy music lovers from far and wide. Exile On Mainstream signed B.SON four long years ago and since then the band has been working to get this new album done, they underwent numerous line up changes, a short-term hiatus, phases of utter productivity and periods of calm too but now the wait is over as Negative Black is finally here.

Recorded in the mild winter of 2011 and twisted into shape at the mighty Tonmeisterei studio, this album marks a new step for Black Shape Of Nexus, carving a path into their foreseeable future. We hope you enjoy Negative Black as much as we do and all 80 minutes of pure sonic assault!

“Nexus”, the centre of something, or a connection, as any dictionary will tell you. Appropriately for Black Shape Of Nexus as the suffocating heaviness of their music functions either way – they can be the centre of your worst nightmares or the connection to all those dark places where you don’t ever want to go. Or both. Pummelling you with painfully slow doom and finishing you off with acrid, harsh drones, B-SON give down-tempo a whole new meaning.

Their discography so far also shows a band not afraid to step outside the established norms, following the staggering doom of the self-titled 2007 debut with a limited edition drone album, the immensely scary Microbarome Meetings. If their records alone are enough to never let you sleep comfortably at night again, wait until you catch them on stage, when all the bitterness and slow-burning aggression of their songs come out in a terribly intense form – the guitars howl, the bass thumps, the keys are hammered into submission and the drums are beaten to within an inch of their sorry lives, all while vocalist Malte Seidel releases his almighty roar like an enraged caged bear would. Escaping easy categorization or stylistic limits, focusing on weight and darkness, B-SON’s black sonic miasma needs to be experienced.


Records on Alerta

AA94. BSON / Lazarus Blackstar - Split LP
AA94. BSON / Lazarus Blackstar - Split LP

AA94. BSON / Lazarus Blackstar - Split LP

AA94. BSON / Lazarus Blackstar - Split LP

For this eagerly-awaited Split LP, the North-West of England meths the North-West of German as two storming merchants of doom crash headlong into each other for half-an-hour of immersive Sturm und Drang. From an early pressurized melting pot where Bradford and Liverpool´s Lazarus Blackstar crust-coated doom and blackened death-drone brews inside a morphing structure, the record steadily winds up the tempo until Mannheim sexted Black Shape Of Nexus take over and begin to introduce experimental layers of feedback and replace grit with groove. It all adds up to a wonderfully wretched experience that aims to bury you deep beneath six-feet of stinking, blackened soil.

Setting off through the sludge and buzz-heavy riffing of Lazarus Blackstar’s “Command and Control”, Mik Hell’s growl and dissonant rage pitch us downwards until they find their spiritual nadir in a ponderous hole where two sets of layered vocals tear lumps out of each other upon a bedrock of whining drone. From here they dust themselves off and settle into the patchwork quilt of sections that form “Whispering Through Broken Teeth”. Reminiscent of St. Vitus and, to a point, Eyehategod there is also a moment where, disconcertingly, it all begins to sound a bit like a slowed-down Iron Maiden tape. Walking you through, we’ve got an introductory riff that cuts abrasively into a rumbling verse, before heading down to half-time for the chorus and then out into a displaced, yet memorably upbeat riff. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

Experimenting with much more success, B.SON tug at their Neurosis chain and flush out a tongue-in-cheek offering to the Gods of doom. The 11-minute “Honor Found In Delay”, littered with psychedelic hits of feedback and noisy electronica, gets you deep in the gut with a thunderous, soul-shaking series of chords. The construction is much more organic here and stands in direct opposition to Lazarus Blackstar’s harsh segues. When they find their chug-friendly two-note doom boots they stomp about in them like pigs in muck with Malte Seidel screaming blue murder from, what sounds like, the other side of the street.

Best of all, closer “Always And Only” spends its entire 9-minute length revelling in the joys that a simple-spined, steadily evolving, quality tongue-and-groove doom song can supply. And who better than George Orwell to provide the LP’s morbid epitaph? His soundbite taken from the BBC Series “The Life Of Orwell” plays this intriguingly miserablist LP out – “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face… forever”. 

Pressing Details
First Press (13.03.2014): 100x grey, 100x white + 300x black vinyl, 180gram Vinyl, obistrip, download code

A1. Lazarus Blackstar – Command And Control
A2. Lazarus Blackstar – Whispering Through Broken Teeth
B1. Black Shape Of Nexus – Honour Found In Decay
B2. Black Shape Of Nexus – Always And Only