The Black Swan Epilogue

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In metal, a musician's history isn't necessarily a good indicator of what his/her next project or undertaking is going to sound like. Take Bibleblack, for example. Bibleblack is a project that Mike Wead (who is known for, among other things, his work with King Diamond, Candlemass, and Mercyful Fate) put together with fellow Swedish guitarist Simon Johansson (whose résumé includes Abstrakt Algebra and Memory Garden). But Bibleblack's debut album, The Black Swan Epilogue, doesn't sound anything like King Diamond or Candlemass; this 2009 release is a lot more extreme and lot more brutal. The Black Swan Epilogue is best described as a mildly technical mixture of death metal and black metal with hints of metalcore in spots. Some parts of the disc are relatively melodic, and the album is given a spooky, eerie atmosphere. Cradle of Filth, England's best-known black metal band, is among the influences. But even though Bibleblack have some nuance, this is still an abrasive, vicious sledgehammer of an album. And no one will mistake The Black Swan Epilogue for either King Diamond's old-school power metal or Candlemass' Black Sabbath-influenced doom metal -- which, of course, is the point. The last thing Wead and Johansson wanted to do was turn Bibleblack into a King Diamond or Candlemass tribute band. Unfortunately, The Black Swan Epilogue is uneven; most of the tracks aren't terribly memorable. But the album has its moments, and Wead's impressive track record makes one want to keep an eye on Bibleblack and see how the project develops.

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