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Blue Sabbath Black Cheer - Crows Eat the Eyes From the Leviathans Carcass

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Artist: Blue Sabbath Black Cheer

Album: Crows Eat the Eyes From the Leviathans Carcass

Label: Release The Bats

Review date: Jun. 17, 2009


Blue Sabbath Black Cheer - "Maggot" (Crows Eat the Eyes From the Leviathan's Carcass)


Given the name of this Seattle duo, the tone of Blue Sabbath Black Cheer’s music isn’t hard to predict. But save a predilection for the dark and heavy side of sound, there ain’t many similarities with its namesakes. Stan Reed and WM. Rage certainly don’t rock; instead, they make ominous (some might argue ubiquitous) noise. Crows Eat the Eyes from the Leviathan’s Carcass compiles seven tracks from the duo’s past, including a few previously unreleased, into almost 45 minutes of unsurprisingly grim material.

To be fair, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer are hardly novices when it comes to ear damage. Rage and Reed have been playing together since 2005, and both men performed and recorded in other noise groups previous to BSBC. But to be frank, their sound is almost cliché in current noise circles. That isn’t to say that what Release the Bats termed “horror noise” is a style that needs extermination; after all, the tenets of garage rock have remained rather stationary throughout decades. What this does mean, though, is that as time passes, and ears grow more and more accustomed to such a sound, that increasingly noteworthy efforts are required to rise above the average muck and mire.

When Crows Eat the Eyes from the Leviathan’s Carcass is at its best, this goal is achieved. The disc’s untitled second track sounds like a murky trip below the surface of the River Styx, and the fifth track, also nameless, explores the noisy underpinnings of a baleful ambience before it suffers its demise at the hands of rusty metallic whine and squeal. The aforementioned tracks are not only two of the album’s most subtle, they’re also the only previously unreleased material included.

Blue Sabbath Black Cheer aren’t all tone and drone, however, and there’s plenty on Crows Eat the Eyes... with teeth. In this case, those fangs tend to ravage the band’s most appealing traits. It’s more effective on “Maggot” to hear the beast grumble, growl and rattle its chains than to experience its full fury, as on the album’s opening track.

Reed and Wage work best when they work hard – that is, when they maintain an eye for detail, textures and atmosphere. This can be obscured by all the howling and squealing, so next time out, hopefully they’ll focus more on the small things and leave much of the crude stuff to those with a less deft touch.

By Adam Strohm

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