Brown Angel deliver on their first LP with a mass of noisy industrial metal and sludge. Among the variety of influences I hear a lot of Godflesh in particular, with the punishing staccato riffs accompanied by harsh vocals and occasional sections of clean singing over more melodic guitar drones. The bass is massive as you might expect, ebbing and flowing with the grinding riffs and feedback. Great stuff; more people need to know about this band.
Favorite track: Celibacy Pact.
Eminently bleak, seismically heavy, Brown Angel’s self-titled debut
album crawls and caterwauls out of a four-year limbo in a limited
edition of 150 LPs, available now. Over seven pulverizing tracks,
Brown Angel strips heavy metal down to its corroded skeleton, fusing
minimalistic, discordant riffs and searing blasts of feedback with
mechanized rhythms and dubworthy depth-charges of bass. Some of
the best in Pittsburgh’s independent music scene lent their talents to
the final product: Jason Kirker (Modey Lemon) engineered the sessions in 2006, with additional mixing/editing by Jason Jouver (Don Caballero) and mastering by Steve Moore (Zombi, Titan, Lovelock, and his own bad self). The result is an industrial-tinged morass drawn from the poisoned well left by Swans, Godflesh, Killing Joke, and Chrome, apropos for these troubled times.
Features current and former members of (((microwaves))), the 1985, Conelrad, Creation is Crucifixion.
Seven horrifying eruptions of sexless, glacial metal punishment from Pittsburgh. Most of the older buildings in that city have a toilet in the basement – just a toilet, not a full bathroom – and the music of Brown Angel sounds as if it seeped out of one of those, coated the concrete floor in three feet of muck, ate your pet and climbed up your stairs; by the time you come home from work, your house is busting at the seams with living sewage, and everything you own is ruined. Slow and methodical, the music owes a great debt to groups like Godflesh, particularly in the drumming and songcraft – John Roman’s long, measured hi-hat hits count a deathmarch over hangnail riffage on tracks like “White Flight” and the torturous “Celibacy Pact.” Elsewhere, guitarist/vocalist Adam MacGregor exercises his love of Indian culture through music, creating a somewhat Eastern take on metal chanting that resists the temptation of psychedelic flourish, looking instead towards the sort of desolation and destruction of monsoon season. Grey sleet, nuclear winter, debilitating bouts of depression … this one captures it all in metered, exacting strokes.
(Doug Mosurock, Still Single 12/9/2010)
released November 26, 2010
John Roman: kit
Mike Rensland: bass
Adam MacGregor: guitar, voice