Pittsburgh blackened hardcore crew Slaves BC delve further into their black and death metal roots on their sophomore release, Lo, and I Am Burning. The record is an aggressive mix of hardcore-tinged black metal that highlights the band's skill at intertwining grooves and rhythm with ferocious speed.
The album takes very little time before launching into a full-bore black metal assault. Songs such as opening track "Lo" and "XLV" show the band's skill at masterfully playing with tempo shifts, skirting between lightning fast blast beats and downtempo death metal grooves. The band also experiment with their sound as seen through the abnormal drumming on the abrasively short "Glory," and the noisy, tribal-like ending on "Unclean."
Vocalist Josh Thieler places a much heavier emphasis on his ear-piercing black metal shrieks than before, further showing how Slaves BC have embraced the black metal side of their sound. The vocals don't offer much for variety on Lo, and I Am Burning, but on the odd occasion, such as "I Looked Upon the Face of God and My Body Turned As Ash," Slaves BC deliver a perfectly executed demonic-sounding dual vocal growl.
While some of the songs on the record tend to blend together and carry on a little longer than they should, the album has a lot to offer and is a fantastic follow up to their debut. Slaves BC show a lot of promise as a relatively new band and are getting better with each release. (The Fear and the Void)