Black Peaks – All That Divides album review

Brightons’ progressive metallers Black Peaks raise the bar with All That Divides

Black Peaks – All That Divides

1. Can't Sleep
2. The Midnight Sun
3. Electric Fires
4. Aether
5. Across The Great Divide
6. Home
7. Eternal Light
8. Slow Seas
9. Fate I & II

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After releasing an exceptional debut album in 2016’s Statues, Black Peaks’ follow-up arrives with hefty expectations hanging round its neck. Anyone questioning if the Brighton post-rockers could soar over the high bar they’d set themselves got their answer when they released first single Can’t Sleep. A thunderous and knotty vortex of melody, texture and aggression, it recalled the searing precision of its predecessor while clearly forging a new path forward.

On Statues the Brighton quartet took the progressive mindset, majesty, savagery and elegance of Tool, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Oceansize and moulded them into something raw, yet utterly unique. On All That Divides, what’s startling is how confident Black Peaks now sound playing with influences that would overwhelm most bands. 

Navigating these songs is an exhilarating thrill, exploring a maze of splintered twists and dynamic shifts, trying to anticipate the quartet’s next move but ending up somewhere completely different. On highlights Aether and Home, the band have left space to let the melodies breathe and build to wild-eyed, and, in the case of the former, string-led climaxes. 

Fear not, though, heaviness is never compromised. It’s just now the band wield it like a weapon, holding it back and unleashing it at exactly the right moment for maximum impact. Electric Fires sounds like Biffy Clyro’s Infinity Land having a pop at Crack The Skye while Will Gardner’s eviscerating vocals are superb throughout, shifting from a gentle murmur to a skin-peeling howl in the blink of an eye. 

And to think they’ve gone and topped the whole thing off with closer Fate I & II, a track of such expertly crafted scope and dynamism it leaves your head spinning. After that, the only thing left to hear is the sound of everyone else choking on Black Peaks’ dust. 

For Fans Of: Mastodon, Tool, Oceansize