Published Jul 18, 2018Less an album and more a test of endurance, Spectre of Ruin is a fatiguing cacophony. With oversaturated production more akin to wispy shoegaze, Black Fast seem rather satisfied to bludgeon the listener with an impressively Phil Spector-ish wall of sound. Sonically dense to the point of being obtuse, Black Fast lurch along, raging with ceaseless, numbing adequacy.
As the band throbs relentlessly through blackened thrash, it becomes difficult to differentiate one song from another. Tracks like "Cloak of Lies" and "Famine Angel" are majestically repetitive, invoking the fury of classic Bay Area crossover with none of the personality. While there are certainly high points in tracks like "Phantom I Am," in the end, Spectre of Ruin comes across as an opaque miasma, devoid entirely of dynamics.
It isn't to say Black Fast have produced a bad record — merely a competent one. Beneath the layers of crusty production, Spectre of Ruin is committed to neither their black metal or thrash roots and the results are spectacularly dull. Though dedicated genre fans may enjoy Black Fast's slavish hero worship, most will likely find the band's devotion to aesthetic brutality a tired exercise at best. (eOne)