Biblical mountains and an album title that sounds straight out of a Mad Max or generic knock off Italian post-apocalyptic film. I have sat here trying to make sense of The Black Moriah for a little while now. They describe themselves “as a horde of highwaymen, hell-bent on Vulture Culture” and hail from Texas. If we know one thing it’s don’t mess with Texas especially when the preachers on this dusky trail are helmed by a character called The Mad Arab. It’s all a bit curious really, from a band who also contain Zawicizuz, one of many through the revolving door of past Absu musicians. It is here that we find some congruent ground too as The Black Moriah play a brand of blackened thrash and having threatened other roamers of the wastelands with the noose or the axe they have garnered a rugged crew of cut-throats to their crew and are now on their second album.
As the track titles contests this is a group who ‘Say It With Bullets’ and they play at a speed that only the quickest on the draw are likely to survive. Luckily there is no sneaking up and shooting in the back going on here and those acquired to the genre will find little in the way of surprises here apart from some occasional synth work backing the churning guitar clamour and clattering drums. Vocals are suitably coarse and rasp along with the occasional cackle adding a bit of gallows humour. It’s music that is likely to sit well with lovers of everything from Deceased to Usurper and the aforementioned Absu. There’s roughness around the edges including some rises in volume production wise as we continue down the trail fleeing after robbing stagecoaches, Pinkerton agents hot on heels. Luckily there is time to stop off along the way, slug whisky and something called Ratwater and indulge in The Devil’s Whores at the last chance saloon.
There are only so many plots available as far as a good violent Western is concerned and likewise black thrash can be a pretty one-dimensional listening experience and that’s the danger here. After listening to the first few tracks you have the cut and thrust of what is going on here and apart from a few slower tempos amidst the speedy plunder and some explosions and dynamite going off on a raid to capture the gold from a heavily guarded safe at a soldiers garrison, this does all get rather formulaic. Perhaps putting on an extra 4 tracks comprising of the Twisted Axe EP doesn’t help in this respect although if you do particularly love the style and are prepared to thrash to death it’s obviously a nice bonus.
There’s no denying that this lot are a particularly wild bunch who keep the bullets flying from beginning to end but I always favoured the more stylised slow-mo brooding violence, harmonies and errr harmonica of a Leone classic.
(6.5/10 Pete Woods)