In 2020, a successful metal band must be exceptional. After half a century and literally hundreds of thousands of bands, a first impression makes all the difference in whether a metal band gains traction or simply disappears into the faceless sea. Black metal is no exception: legions of monochrome xeroxed covers, corpse-painted warriors, skinny jean-clad nerds, and bodybuilding goons have tried their respective hands at adding to the great canon of the black arts, but few have actually been able to distinguish themselves from the horde. All this considered, Western North Carolina's black metal stalwarts Black Mountain Hunger have definitely done so, as one can see by checking out their brand-new full performance video for "Stone Giant," embedded below:

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They're not without influences, of course: listen intently and one will find plenty of recognizable elements, from MGLA's full-frontal drum production to Wolves in the Throne Room's shimmering riffs and Cobalt's penchant for rural Americana-based imagery. However, the combination they employ is quite novel, evocative of the Southern Appalachian region which they call home without being derivative of other USBM acts. They have sufficient punch and aggression to set them well away from the boring tide of quotidian atmospheric black metal acts, but also enough reverence to inspire awe rather than hatred. There's no corpsepaint-and-spikes Immortal crab-walk goofiness, but definitely more showmanship and flair than your average Brooklyn balding-with-glasses blackened shoegaze (note: it is very hard to go wrong with smoke machines). And did I mention their drum production is simply killer? Seriously, if you're gonna blast, I wanna hear that snare and kick trade-off right in my fucking earhole, and boy does Black Mountain Hunger ever deliver!

Black Mountain Hunger is a forward-looking black metal band, which may make kvlt traditionalists leery of their working-man aesthetic or high production values, but it’s 2020 and gatekeeping is dead. Stonekeeping, however, is quite in vogue.

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Black Mountain Hunger releases October 30th via GrindEthos.


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