Black Shapes – ‘Sleep, Sleep, Sleep’

By Tom Aylott

Since the release of their debut, free download EP, Black Shapes have been making strong moves in the London hardcore scene, supporting some big names and gathering a following rather swiftly despite a few changes among the ranks.

So, as they come to the release of their debut album ‘Sleep, Sleep, Sleep’, it’s a fairly crucial time for the band. It’s at this point that they have to convert that gathered support into a dedicated fanbase, and ‘Sleep, Sleep, Sleep’ might just do the trick. It’s comes as little surprise that the album is fast and crunchy – there was never a reason to suspect otherwise – but here the band largely benefit from an uplift in production values, with eleven tracks to stamp their mark across.

Black Shapes have lost some of their urgency in this newly found space to express themselves, though/ ‘Sleep With The Gods’ takes the pace out of the album a little early to feel anything but a stumble, and it takes until ‘The Echoing Grief’ for things to get back on track.

From there on in, it’s a charge to the end in the best kind of way, and though ‘Sleep, Sleep, Sleep’ isn’t a world-changing hardcore record overall, it is a solid effort from a band that’s worked their asses off to get where they are. Tracks like ‘Midnight Brides’ and ‘Age Of Porcine’ ensure that the album’s second half has no less impact than the first, and if you’re a fan of UK hardcore, you’d be hard pushed not to enjoy the vast majority of what Black Shapes have done here.

TOM AYLOTT

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