As one of contemporary alternative music’s most elusive figures, Dean Blunt returns on Black Metal and delivers his most assured and ambitious record to date for Rough Trade. An album of two halves; the crestfallen baritone on Blow is juxtaposed by the inner-city sermonising of Grade, just as the melancholic strumming of 50 Cent gets rattled by the unrelenting stagger of Mersh. With ominous narratives of hunger and loneliness rumbling underneath the gloomy surface, Black Metal is a moonlit cruise through Blunt’s cloudy metropolis. There’s no telling where he’ll go next, but this is one of his finest trips to date.
Dean Blunt’s follow up to The Redeemer (2013) leaves us none the wiser as to the specifics surrounding this ever-intriguing artist. Black Metal offers a wider emotional spectrum than its predecessor, such as the soft contemplative touches on ‘MOLLY & AQUAFINA’ or similarly pensive tones on the extended centerpiece ‘FOREVER’. However, the wild abrasive sonic blast of ‘Country’ or stark, searing post punk undertones of closing piece ‘GRACE’ confirm the fact that it’ll take a little more time to understand this artist but one thing is for sure, it’ll be worth the effort.