Released: 2015, Season of Mist
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Like many of the curiously unfamiliar, I found myself drawn to I’M GOING TO KILL MYSELF because of the adorable, Muppet like creatures adorning the album cover discussing suicidal intentions. I mean, c’mon, what’s not to like about that?! On their third full length, California’s Black Sheep Wall have succeeded in combining Michael Gira’s hypnotic repetition with the danceability of Khanate. At times it’s curiously subversive, a lot of the time it’s unnecessarily obtuse, but all of the time it marches to the beat of its own irregular time signature.
I’M GOING TO KILL MYSELF swells across its four tracks with discordant riffs drawn out across protracted, bottom heavy exposition. It works better on some tracks than others, for sure though. “The Wailing and the Gnashing of the Teeth” gets it right, spending the bulk of its 9 minutes weaving melancholy alt-melodies against drumline fills and Brandon Gillichbauer’s throaty exaltations. It parallels abrasively heavy with maudlin beauty, and pulls you into the band’s emotional downward spiral. Comparatively, “Testsuo the Dead Man” rides monotonous, one-note bashing that doesn’t convey a fraction of its predecessor’s soulfulness. But, sweet merciful Christ; the 33-minute closing opus, “Metallica” is the kind of track that can define a band for the duration of its career. On the surface, it’s full of repetitive, molasses riffs and incoherent shouting. But coupled with the lyric sheet thoroughly detailing “Jon’s” intention to take his own life and the sequence of events that follows, and f@#k, it’s an altogether, entirely different experience.
I’M GOING TO KILL MYSELF is not an easy album to listen to, and I gather that’s exactly what Black Sheep Wall intended with it. It’s a complicated body of music that you won’t crank during your commute to work, but give it an hour of uninterrupted introspection, and it’ll saddle itself inside your brain. “Metallica” alone is worth checking this out, even for just its rubberneck appeal. You probably won’t hear anything else like Black Sheep Wall this year, consider yourself warned and/or lucky.