Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Black Acid - Flores Para Los Muertos (1994) / 86%

90s Viennese gem

The sole album by these fellows from Vienna really really impressed the hell out of me and I'm grateful to my fellow moderator friend Azmodes for the discovery. Heavy metal was basically relegated to the abyss during the mid 90s (the grand era of extreme and nu-metal) but this is really hard to pinpoint or place into a rigid genre so I'll try to describe them correctly.

The first impressive aspect of Black Acid is the voice of Claudia Jusits. Her approach is varied but always charismatic, from lovely AOR inspired vox (“Burning With A Hard Flame”) and a wide variety of other types including some harsher moments (“Law of Residence”, “Snake Bite Lady”). She's highly theatrical without being unnecessarily operatic (a common and regrettable thing in nowadays female fronted metal). Nevertheless, I do prefer when she's using her clean vocals without any frills though, some of the experimentation was somewhat unnecessary and almost grating.

This totally fits the excellent versatile record, calling them “heavy metal” is certainly a stretch since there's so many stuff thrown in there. From progressive metal (these guitar leads are atmospherically complex and super interesting) to a sort of primal thrashy metal (using the aforementioned harsh vocals) to a sort of avant garde tinged epic metal. It almost sounds like Accept trying to be 
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son era Maiden with hints of Fates Warning, Faith No More and early 90s groove, thrash & death metal. The contemporary American band Christian Mistress definitely evolves (relatively) in the same niche as their sound is pretty unorthodox and their influences not automatically discernable

It would be a missed opportunity not to mention the classic female fronted Belgian band Acid in this review as they share some similar aesthetics but the Austrian is a darker and weirder version. It's there in the musicianship too from the strangely epic “The Dragonslayer” and its acoustic guitar breaks to some of the strange combinations of genres mentioned earlier. If you're feeling adventurous and want some sort of strange milk in your heavy metal coffee, Black Acid is a good bet. It hasn't aged that wonderfully but it's still quite rewarding in its own way.

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