SCOUR – Black
Yous truly is rather fond of the two previous releases by US black metallers Scour, namely the two EPs entitled "Grey" (2016) and "Red" (2017) respectively, and this third and latest little gem of theirs appropriately named "Black" is quite the sick fucker and as wildly aggressive as it is superbly arranged.
As with its predecessors, "Black" is relentless in terms of sheer intensity and relentlessly bleak with respect to its overall aura and vibe, and Phil Anselmo’s highly diverse and utterly confident vocals add something unique to the proceedings here. Drenched in a pitch-black atmosphere and borderline manic sounding, the six compositions that constitute this 2020 release are cleverly written and riddled with twists and turns as well as subtle nuances, but they also come across as quite epic to a certain extent. In other words, "Black" is neither one-dimensional nor predictable by any stretch of the imagination. In addition, it neither loses any of its fierce momentum throughout nor fails to keep the listener on his or her toes as there is always something thrillingly vile lurking just around the corner. The sound and production of the disc is nicely balanced too and is both massive and suitably harsh so no complaints there either.
I distinctly recall that I found the first EP (”Grey") an entertaining and satisfying listen but that its follow-up ("Red") was a much better and more focused offering, and it is therefore extremely rewarding to discover that "Black" is even more memorable and well-crafted than those two. In summing up, "Black" is a bone-chilling black metal delight that is loaded with good ideas and muscular riffs. Also, it will ruin your otherwise perfectly good day – just the way it ought to be, really.