Hailing from Vermont, Black Ox is the combined efforts of Alex Cseh and Cam Barrows. The duo released a five-song instrumental self-titled EP Black Ox. The EP combines elements of post-rock, hard rock and ambient music. At its core this is a guitar album.
Up first is “Material” and the track that's under two minutes in length feels like an intro. This track was on the verge of hymn like drone metal if the guitars had more distortion. The vocals towards the end are what give it such a serious knights of the templar feel.
“Samson” is a much more girth-y track at seven minutes in length. The guitars take the lead creating a vast sonic landscape. As the song progresses the song has some significant changes that point it in a completely different direction. There are definitely a good amount of pro rock elements in this track.
“Lift” has a good amount of energy. The BPM is fast, the guitars sound bright and you even get a surprising “Yeah” yelled out at one point. The song eventually simmered down into white waves of distortion.
After a short song entitled “Night Shapes” that has potential to go longer they go into “Unraveling Clouds” which has the most noticeable affiliation with post-rock. They close with “Slipstream” which is a dynamic song which has flourishing clean lead guitar and distorted feedback.
Overall, this is a solid start for the band. I was impressed that they were able to meld a number of like-minded genres in individual songs. This EP is littered with inspired moments. Not everything works but most of it does. Looking forward to this band's evolution.
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