The debut album from Black Ink Stain Album Review
Black Ink Stain
Reviewed by Damon

Black Ink Stain’s crushing noise

Guitars lumber, vocals bellow, drums exorcise still spirits: this is Incidents, the debut from Black Ink Stain.

The French noise-rock trio sounds like Unsane, and this album is like a used cargo van overloaded with deep-groove riffs bowling down the freeway.

“I See You Dead” opens with a continuous track of bass and drums along with a dissonant guitar. Then the song rounds into a steel-chain groove accompanied by a flat, shouted vocal. A vacant, moody section comes at about two minutes in, and, after that, everything condenses again loudly into the groove.

“Pont Des Goules” is the most dynamic song on Incidents. It starts with a soft-focus riff, fuzzy notes soon accompanied by another steel-toe beat. Then comes a clean vocal—a rarity for Black Ink Stain. The song flows between parts like lava and recalls the soft-loud-soft-loud style so prevalent in the 1990s. On “Frozen Stance,” a bass riff rumbles and jabs through the opening minute. Restless drums and a dissonant guitar join, and this leads into a loafing, bottoming-out chorus.

Most songs fit this pattern: trunky grooves power ahead, find pockets of noise, then get back in gear. Black Ink Stain also takes advantage of the loads of momentum it builds in songs to add in breakdowns or syncopated high-knee jogs and not lose the groove. I guess once you build up that inertia, the easiest thing to do is keep going.

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