Black Arrows Of Filth And Impurity
Since there’s a good chance you’re not familiar with these Black Arrows, here's the bio information lifted wholesale from their Myspace site:
"1-We formed in 2004.
2-We recorded in 2005
3-The shit was released in 2006
4-The world is still kickin in 2007
5-2008 might be a different story.
6-It's totally cool if you hate us, and we would prefer it if you did.
You fake ass motherfuckers need to get with the real. Your blast beats ain't shit, your haircuts ain't shit, your androgyny ain't shit, your doom riffs ain't shit, your fast shit is bullshit, and in general the world would be a better place without. Also, your record collection ain't shit."
When you open with a scene-baiting diatribe, you’d better deliver more than 1984 (Eternal) does.
This comma-splicing Indiana-based four-piece features members of Coffinworm and shares a drummer with Metal Blade thrashers Demiricious. When I first picked up this record and saw the goofy song titles, I’ll admit I was more than a bit worried, but thankfully, Black Arrows Of Filth And Impurity does compensate for their wordy, ‘core-like titles ("Pearl Harbor Necklace," "Damn, Girlfriend, That Napalm Exfoliates As It Burns") with pummeling, chaotic death/grind, vicious and furious beneath a sadly roughshod production. In some respects, that blunted production could work both for and against the music—giving it a bludgeoning lower-fi quality that roughs up the edges—but at the same time, it severely dulls the sharpness of the attack. In the end, that latter quality trumps the former. 1984 has some power, but it’s muffled, lessened by the soft production.
Despite that this is only seven songs, 1984 is still of full-length length, since the last two tracks span a combined 31 minutes, and in truth, both could largely be left off and only help matters. "Survivors Envy The Dead" starts out in the band’s normal death/grind territory for a few minutes before devolving into a sludgy protracted noisefest straight out of the New Orleans gutter (before stopping completely with four minutes yet to go in the track). That leaves the final track as something of a "bonus," I suppose, and that one, "Your Noise Is Weak," is fourteen minutes of feedback, ambience and droning that wanders along, ebbing and flowing with no particular place to go. I’m not opposed to drone/ambient music, but this record feels split in half—a death/grind maelstrom and then, suddenly, a lengthy coda of nothing but ambient lo-fi drifting that lasts even longer than the maelstrom itself…
Overall, these guys have some good ideas, but 1984 is far from perfect. A less-muffled production, a focus on their strengths (vs. protracted feedback-laden droning), and perhaps some less-ridiculous wink-wink-nudge-nudge song titles would certainly help to push Black Arrows up a notch and out of the minor leagues.