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Album Review: Statues by Black Peaks

Black Peaks have released their debut album Statues via Easy Life / Sony Red. The Brighton 4-piece have been pushed as part of a new breed of exciting UK bands and rightly so, Statues is a big heavy hitting alt rock album that impresses at every turn.

One thing you will notice about Black Peaks is that they’re not far removed from the sound of label mates Arcane Roots. You’ll find it coming out at various junctions throughout Statues, however it doesn’t come at the band’s detriment, sure it is a similar sound but it’s just different enough for it not to be overly familiar. Take account of the heavier, more discordant riffs and you’re left with a more challenging sound.

Opener ‘Glass Built Castles’ and ‘Say You Will’ are early high points that point towards the potential and power being Black Peaks sound. The churning riffs of the opener and abrasive vocal of the latter make you sit up and take notice, however it isn’t until ‘Hang Em High’ that you think Black Peaks could be something special. The frantic vocal over the angular and heavy guitar certainly isn’t easy on the ear; it is however exciting and the track revels in its own chaos.

‘Set in Stone’ is the most accessible point of entry to Statues. It shows the poppier, harmony focused side of Black Peaks against the stark contrast of screeched vocals and noodling guitar solos. The more extreme elements of the band’s sound are harnessed and refined to such an extent that you could be forgiven for thinking of System of a Down (especially in the closing 30 seconds). There’s some excellent guitar work within ‘Saviour’ before ‘Statues of Shame’ storms in as the best track on the album. There’s a distinct feeling of grandeur and accomplished hard rock while also being the most instantaneous and catchy track. The explosive guitars are the highlight here and provide the track with its crushing direction and power.

‘White Eyes’ contains all the right ingredients to be a big alt rock hit for the band while album closer ‘To Take the First Turn’ takes the sound to its natural finish – blending heavy hitting and abrasive guitars with an infectious quality that beckons mainstream rock appeal. Statues is a strong and commanding debut and further marks Black Peaks out as a band of genuine quality.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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