Black Sails – What Belongs to the Gallows

Artist: Black Sails

Title: What Belongs to the Gallows

Release: Tape / Digital 

Year: 2015

Label: DIY

I easily get tired by music, solely exploring the most extreme of emotions, be that hyper negativism or pink posi vibes. However, I do like my casual dose of blackened sound to purge every single ugly thought lurking in my head, for at least the duration of a record. This time my need to escape from nihilism was indulged by Zagreb’s Black Sails and their latest record. What Belongs to the Gallows was released last October and it’s a bit of shame we’re getting to it just now.

Behind the apocalyptic, black and grey artwork you’ll find 10 tracks of dark hardcore. However, the music has soaked influences from many directions. Crust, d-beat even black’n’roll parts take turns with slower sludgier passages but groovy and fast moments as well. In general, the album jumps from mid-tempo paced to fast. It’s relying more on heaviness and thickness of sound than on speed or emotions. Still, in tracks like Filth, one of my personal highlights actually, you can sense a slight and very distorted hints of contemporary screamo. But then everything gets back to perfectly black.

What I mostly like about the record is that it sounds super massive and convincing. I’m mentioning this because the album was not only self-released, but pretty much DIY produced as well. All recordings took place in Zagreb’s Močvara club or producer Jasmin Dasovic’s flat. The result is indeed an uncompromising and contemporary-sounding record. The only thing I slightly dislike are the vocals being constantly burnt by some sort of distortion or whatever. Yeah, they do fit the whole picture, but I’d like them more natural. Lyrics are in English and are a breath of fresh air as well, because are intriguing and well-written, especially Long Gone Lonesome Words.

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.