BlackLab – Under The Strawberry Moon

On the surface of it, BlackLab are a doom metal band, and yet not completely so. Hailing from Japan, BlackLab are two Japanese women: Chia Shiraishi on drums, and Yuko Morino on guitar and vocals. A bass-less two piece, but they are (dark) light years removed from the generic boredom of the likes of Royal Blood. The track “Symptom of the BlackLab” tells you a lot about, not only where BlackLab are coming from influence-wise, but where they are going. It starts off as Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe” and then goes into the void, with its own sound. I really enjoyed the heavy dense feedback-drenched riffs, with the exception of the final ‘track’, which is nine minutes of drum-less fuzzy riffs, which feels more like ninety minutes, and the album would have been better served with two actual songs rather than this. But overall, I like BlackLab; their music is heavy, sincere and inventive, and on their next album on New Heavy Sounds I’m sure they’ll have established their own identity more.

(New Heavy Sounds)

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Steve Earles

Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (http://toendallwarscomic.wordpress.com/writers/).

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