Black Tongue – The Unconquerable Dark (Century Media)

Genre: Extreme Metal/Deathcore

It’s now time for Hull bruisers Black Tongue to step up if they are going to prove their doubters wrong and show there’s more to them than downtuned deathcore bludgeoning. The Unconquerable Dark is their first dedicated full length… and there is therefore a lot riding on it.

So do the quartet pull it off?

Well, up to a point, yes. The material has evolved (slightly) from the savage, one dimensional pummelling of 2013’s Falsifier and 2014’s Born Hanged EPs. It’s still heavier than most of Black Tongue’s contemporaries can manage (Oceano aside), but the band create a chilling atmosphere on tracks like The Masquerade, which envelops their pounding rhythms and crunching riffs.

They even veer into black metal territory on L’appel du Vide (a direction which the band could explore further), as well as producing some catchier moments than we’ve heard before (Young Gloom, the chorus to In the Wake ov the Wolf).

However, many of Black Tongue’s best ideas don’t get the time they need to flourish – no sooner does your jaw start dropping than a lurching, turgid, slo-mo passage comes in to push it right back up again.

And that’s a real shame, as you know the four-piece could do better. A step forward, then, but not a giant leap.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 5.5/10 Tongue Tied