Fusing together black metal and punk is a very novel one even if it’s been done numerous times whether it be by a legendary name like Darkthrone, newcomers like Devil Master, or incredibly obscure acts that I’ve not a single clue about. To make it smooth somehow seems like an odd idea at first given the sheer ferocity of it all that first comes to mind, but that doesn’t stop Raspberry Bulbs from trying and succeeding the concept on their forthcoming effort.
It’s not often whatsoever that I find myself listening to any single piece of black metal, much less punk, that I can easily describe as “smooth” in any form. In fact, I feel I haven’t ever been able to say that. So, coming out of the latest work from Raspberry Bulbs, “Before the Age of Mirrors”, I truly did feel like I had heard a one of a kind record. Granted, Raspberry Bulbs has a solid amount of history to their discography where I’m sure I could hear more of this or at least its beginnings, but it’s with the entirety of “Before the Age of Mirrors” that we’ve gotten something that has mildly rattled my entire view of blackened punk the likes of which only Devil Master were able to accomplish. While I don’t find this album as infectious with such a comparison, there’s no denying whatsoever that every single inch of this record has amazing flavor and distinct sounds that permeate all the notes that are simply captivating of their own kind, and Raspberry Bulbs pulled it off wondrously every time. The real odd charm of “Before the Age of Mirrors” comes from how accessible it is despite the two styles that it brings together even between the riffs and amazingly smooth texture with a rugged coating that helps make the entire listen an incredible layered work that has so much to offer that many other acts can’t bring to the table, and it’s bu the end of this record that Raspberry Bulbs delivers something that has been done only a handful of other times.
When rare works like this come around, I find it absolutely criminal when they don’t get the recognition that they deserve. Fortunately, I have a good feeling that Raspberry Bulbs won’t be suffering such a fate which I’m extremely glad about simply because this is not an album that deserves to be forgotten amongst the ocean of other releases. Everything about “Before the Age of Mirrors” has so much going from its from that initial note to the very attitude that’s constantly on display and it’s the exact sort of shit that throngs of people will come to eat up as if it were homemade ice cream.
“Before the Age of Mirrors” releases on February 21st via Relapse Records!
PRE-ORDER “Before the Age of Mirrors” via multiple sources here.
LISTEN to singles from “Before the Age of Mirrors” on Bandcamp here.