Black Peaks – Statues (Sony Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Rich Hobson   
Thursday, 24 November 2016 04:00

Black Peaks StatuesDrawing sonic comparisons with acts as diverse as Tool, Dillinger Escape Plan and Deftones, it’s fair to say that Black Peaks are most definitely not your average hardcore bruisers. Hailing from the far South of England and plying prog tinged post-hardcore-meets-alt-rock, the band are an antidote to the formulaic chugging that weighs down many of their contemporaries, floating like the proverbial butterfly and stinging like a post-dystopian bee.


Opening on the frenetic ‘Glass Built Castles’, the band charge out of the gates on their debut album Statues, stopping just short of tearing your throat out. Airy verses give way to enormous choruses, but Black Peaks don’t fall into the pitfalls of many of their contemporaries. As opposed to shoehorning crowd-vocal choruses in, they rely instead on the inherent sense of grandiose that their music produces in and of itself, taking a ‘less is more’ approach whilst still brimming with musical flourishes.


The more paced interplay of ‘Crooks’ betrays some of the band’s prog leanings, introducing a more jerky, spasmodic riffing style which floats right up to the sun for the chorus. Tracks like ‘Say You Will’ highlight the almost jazz/orchestral approach the band take to performance. Each instrument enjoys its place in the spotlight, whilst perfectly accompanying the rest of the band to create a greater cohesive whole.



It’s that sense of individual components making a greater machine that best illustrates Black Peaks’ capabilities. It doesn’t matter if it’s the clattering drum style of Liam Kearley or the stark dissonance of guitarist Joe Gosney, the masterful vocal range of Will Gardner or the filthy basslines of Andrew Gosden (which could be lifted straight from a Shellac record), each instrument is exceptional both individually and in tandem with its counterparts.


Put into one singular package and given free rein to drop sonically everywhere and anywhere at will, Black Peaks offer up something which is at once experimental but totally and utterly accessible. Careful to not jam too many ideas into a single song, the band leave plenty of breathing space to create a sense of stark minimalism, whilst also packing plenty of subliminal flourishes that lie just beneath the surface.



'Statues' is a marvel to behold; evolved from the sound of its predecessors whilst still maintaining genre specific markers to keep it recognisable within the various sub-scenes of UK-based rock and metal, Black Peaks’ sound is one which is just at home handing out lumps at a Gallows gig as it would be tumbling through the veils of reality on a Tool bill. As rock and metal legends drop like flies to retirement plans, ill-health and death, bands like Black Peaks prove that the genres still have plenty of fresh talent ready to take their spot in the sun.


Blacks Peaks are on tour in 2017.


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