In case you missed it is our new regular feature which highlights outstanding albums, from the last 5 years, which may have passed you by.
Album: The Destructive Cycle
Why? You’d be forgiven if you missed blackQueen’s 2015 outing The Directress – which was a tremendous venture into the world of multi-faceted dark metal – as that particular opus didn’t receive the notoriety it so throughly deserved but with their most recent masterpiece, 2019’s The Destructive Cycle, improving on their already formidable sound, blackQueen will hopefully receive the respect that’s certainly due to them.
This six-song album is a tour-de-force of off-kilter extreme metal that fuses black, death, avant-garde and traditional metal into blackQueen’s self-described “witch metal”. One of the reasons The Destructive Cycle is such a superlative album is that the band demonstrates a rabid passion and skill for their sonic craft that speaks volumes about their talent as musicians and songwriters. The album’s organic-sounding production is spot-on and is a step up from the solid production on The Directress and, throughout the album, blackQueen seamlessly blend raging guitars, keyboards, engaging melodies, and complex song structures that belie the brutality of the music; bringing to mind classic bands like Emperor, Arcturus and even the mighty ABSU.
The vocal performances on The Destructive Cycle are also key to its success with former Assuck vocalist Paul Pavlovich adding some wonderfully malevolent blackened vocals to three songs on The Destructive Cycle – namely “Needle Grinding Well”, “Infinitesmal” and “Calefactorum Occulta” – and one-man black metal legend Wrest of Leviathan (and the artist of the awesomely ungodly album cover) unleashing his vocal destruction on epic eleven-minute album finale, “The Sorcerers Jian”.
Overall, The Destructive Cycle is more than a match for the major players in the extreme metal world and was one of the best releases of the past year. 10/10