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Black Moth: Condemned To Hope

Yorkshire’s answer to L7 deliver 50 shades of black.

Newly expanded to a five-piece, West Yorks’ premier garage-sleaze doom-grunge sludge-metallers again hire Bad Seeds/Grinderman stalwart Jim Sclavunos to produce their second album.

But singer and lyricist Harriet Bevan remains their secret weapon, a turbo-tonsilled multimedia artist who paints vivid horror-movie pictures of flaming annihilation and bohemian squalor on Set Yourself Alight and The Last Maze. The band’s 2012 debut, The Killing Jar, routinely drew comparisons to L7, Black Sabbath and The Stooges, all again evident here. But Condemned To Hope adds an extra shot of PJ Harvey-ish blues-growl, particularly on salacious sleazegrinder The Undead King Of Rock ’N’ Roll and the ritualistic, incense-drenched mantra Stinkhorn.

A little sluggish and generic in places, these churning incantations never quite combust like they should, hinting at dark depths of mystical ecstasy they cannot deliver. But sometimes the mere promise of diabolical debauchery is enough to set the imagination racing.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.