SOUNDS OF THE TEXAS UNDERGROUND
Vol. IV: The Black Moriah – “Road Agents Of The Blast Furnace”
by Ryan A Vasquez
The year is 1880. Civilization was a practice that had not yet reached the rest of the plains, and there were blurred lines between right and wrong and the receiving end of a bullet.
There were folks that worshiped The Lord and believed there was good in every person. They believed that good always prevails over any evil.
But there was another kind out there. And those God-fearing folks were given something else to fear.
There was an evil—a powerful, ravenous, and unmerciful posse that rode from town to town destroying everything that stood in their way.
They called themselves The Black Moriah. Their lust to satisfy their need to take, violate, and annihilate was legendary.
And in this album, you’re going to ride with these monstrous outlaws in a 12 track assault they unleash on everyone and everything in a sophomore campaign they called “Road Agents Of The Blast Furnace.”
What the listener will notice from this project—even without knowing anything about the band—is that the music has a very strong influence in both an old school Norwegian-style black metal approach and circle-pit crazed, sick cardio workout-thrash metal.
TBM managed an equal balance to both songwriting techniques without giving too much of the other, plus shredding guitar solos.
With the exception of the instrumental sixth track “Palaver,” expect to find every track to be a straight shot of adrenaline.
As for the first track / first impression, the listener is already met with title track of the album [above], which is a bold move considering the album’s sequential order is vital to the dynamics of the overall effect. In this case, coming out guns blazing was part of the plan.
I’m reminded of Malevolent Creation, Carcass and Kreator with this opening drive of thrash. Once the vocals hit, I get a strong sense of Bathory and Mayhem with the way it mixes together.
This song finishes hard with a dominating black metal appeal and the audience receives their first exposure to one of several shredding guitar solos at 3:15-3:28—hence the confidence in opening with the title track as a sign of the Hell to come.
By the second track, “The Devil’s Whores,” I’m convinced TBM would be a great addition to a Cradle Of Filth show, and at the same time, also hang with the intensity that Revocation, Havok, and At The Gates reputedly delivers.
The next track, “Say It With Bullets,” as well as track five, “Death Valley Days,” and track 11, “Ratwater,” I felt, would be perfect candidates for radio airplay singles.
Each song has its own unique angle to grab your attention, yet crafted to deliver the major elements of the album—ferocity, stamina, and darkness— as hybrid arrangements incidentally within FCC boundaries.
[Editor’s Pick among chosen singles for radio airplay: TRK #5 “Death Valley Days”]
After the instrumental interlude, “Palaver,” it’s a back and forth bout between a fast-paced black metal execution and solid speed metal for the rest of the duration of the album—tracks seven through 12 beginning with “Elixir Of Wrath.”
It’s a well thought-out plan of attack for the rest of the track layout in this project, I felt. What’s left is what feeling this band wanted you, the listener, to be left with.
Every song you’re given something to grasp onto in the premeditated sequence intended in order to obtain the whole campaign mission. In cinema, this would be considered a horror timepiece. In literature, this is a tragedy.
The mission was to witness in musical form the raid this posse unleashed at every destination, in the speed that was put in motion, in the demeanor that was evident, and with the Hell that was intended.
In all honesty, it’s not up to me to tell you how to feel. One thing I think we all may have in common though, is that despite any and all genre preferences, metal fans in general will like this album.
Whether or not you are the type of audience that favors the dark side of the theatrics, so many musical elements stood out to me throughout this album.
I love how they embrace powerful attributes a good guitar solo can add, I love how they can step away from circle pit riffs to a musical interlude which builds until it explodes back to the original intensity.
This album is relentless and musically entertaining. I would recommend this album to any and all metal-heads, it really doesn’t narrow it’s audience.