Blackwülf: Oblivion Cycle

Oakland raiders uncover the Sabbath you never knew

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Black Sabbath’s trajectory took many routes, from their early, bluesy wanderings through pure Dio-infused heavy metal to the prog noodlings of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

One alley was ignored, though – stadium rock – and these Oakland-bred rockers step right into the breach. If you dissect Oblivion Cycle, you’ll also find ‘downer rock’ riffing, stoner vibes and a delicate yet bleak flute-inflected ballad that would’ve fitted any lost acid folk recording.

But Blackwülf aren’t Orchid, here just to relive the glorious 70s, nor are they content to puff endlessly on a hash pipe. Instead, they’ve got a singer whose set of lungs have more in common with Robert Plant than Ozzy Osbourne, and they carefully craft four-minute, almost radio-friendly nuggets while practising their moves in front of the mirror.

But as catchy as the result is, it’s just too calculated and devoid of that extra grit to truly convince that there’s more to Blackwülf than a pose and a knack for memorable choruses.