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False, Pigs Blood, Tubal Cain, Coordinated Suicides, No Question

  • Art In 1444 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Black metal rears its head in many forms, be it neofolk-tinged, yo-ho-ho Captain Hook-style, sketchily war-themed, depressively reverb-drenched, or that overtly polished and pretentious “high-art” take. What I love about 2015’s Untitled, the first and only full-length from Minneapolis-based black metal outfit False, is that it doesn’t sit comfortably within any of the aforementioned tropes. “Saturnalia,” the first of five unstable dirges, shifts gracefully between blast-beats coated in mysterious, speed-picked riffing and hovering growls, crawling doom passages, and punishing hardcore sections. Untitled’s gritty but digestible production style and sporadic doses of moody synth atmospheres (which are thankfully super tasteful and not overdone) really add some refreshing context, too. It’s worth noting that False have fully-titled 7-inch, Hunger, slated for release next month through Oshkosh-based metal imprint Gilead Media. —Joel Shanahan