Review - When White Becomes Black

Artist: Swarm of the Lotus

This Baltimore quartet is yet another fine example of the continuing expansion of metal's extremity envelope. Threads of hardcore are woven throughout "When White Becomes Black," but the relentless heaviness of the group's approach on this debut album is what makes it an unqualified metal success. The rhythm section brews up a viscous nastiness that, though forward-moving, is possessed of a plodding heaviness that's amplified by the drop-tuned, double-guitar attack bashing around atop. Divorced of melody but structurally complex, SOTL clearly worships at the altar of Neurosis, and the dark animosity of tracks like "Volatile" and "Burn Autumn Burn" is wonderfully unpleasant.

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