Black Tar Prophet – Deafen


Now, when a band names an album Deafen, you can probably expect it to be loud.  But this Nashville instro duo, Black Tar Prophet, is a bass-drums outfit, so you don’t get the screeching, feedbacking guitars that lead to tinnitus here.  Trust me on that one…

Opening track “Dethroned” reminds me of The Body, as the bass is just as heavily distorted as Chip King’s guitar.  (Speaking of deafening, I once saw The Body knock the power—and the hipsters—out of a Parkdale basement divebar.)  But then we get some blastbeats that seem to come out of nowhere.  It’s hard to tell if the bass keeps pace, as all I hear is a distorted rumble.  “Judgement Whore” is more sombre, beginning with a truly doomy bassline and military-grade snare-drumming.  Although there’s no vocals here, I almost hear an eerie whisper drifting up from below.

They continue the downward-facing sludge, which surely must sound massive in the live setting, with a fistful of basslines inspired by Al Cisneros scattered throughout.  Average song length is around 2-3 minutes, which is about right for this sorta stuff, aside from “Back on the Nod,” a nine-minute number that drops things down a notch, a slow, lugubrious ooze that goes nowhere fast and leaves one feeling none the richer.  Take as needed for pain.

(Domestic Genocide)

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for

7.5 Rating