Blackrat – Dread Reverence

Spread the metal:

Blackrat – Dread Reverence
Label: Shadow Kingdom
Released: 2018
Reviewed: December, 2018
Rating:  3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

The Kings of Kanadian Karnage!- The Frozen North Rides Forth!

This feature is so good, I had to name it twice!   About once a year I indulge my patriotism and review a bunch of Canadian Metal releases.  There has been a whole pile of albums recently released in the past few months and I want to help bring some exposure to these bands. There are bands of all styles and all genres from across the country in this feature. The bands covered in this feature are… (listed alphabetically)

Anvil (Toronto, ON)

Apprentice (Vancouver, BC)

Arctic Circle (Brandon, Manitoba)

Assault (Vancouver, BC)

Black Rat (Calgary, AB)

Cauldron (Toronto, ON)

Codex:Factoria (Vancouver, BC)

Dethgod (Calgary, AB)

Fractal Cypher (Montreal,Quebec)

Haiduk (Calgary, AB)

Iomair (Scarborough, ON)

Ice War (Ottawa, ON)

Leah (Vancouver, BC)

Lee Aaron (Vancouver, BC)

Malacoda (Oakville, ON)

Mongol (Edmonton, AB)

Ominous Eclipse (Ottawa, ON)

Skullfist (Toronto, ON)

Solborn (Edmonton, AB)

Thor (Vancouver, BC)

Trollwar (Alma, PQ)

Untimely Demise (Saskatoon, SK)

W.M.D (Calgary, AB)

Ye Goat-Herd Gods (Calgary, AB)

Please enjoy all the albums in this feature and check out all the talent Canada has to offer!

BlackRat are arguably the heaviest band in this feature. Working out of Calgary, there was a band called Savage Streets.  They had an independent release and a bit of local, underground buzz.  It never fully materialized but two guys moved onto form Blackrat, who have been slowly building their skills and reputation.

DREAD REVERENCE is the bands third full-length album now and they have caught the ear of the esteemed Shadow Kingdom label, I believe the first Calgary band to sign with them. In the early days Blackrat was described as crust but I think that is a bit too simplistic of a description.  There is still not really anything resembling melody on this eight track, 40-minute record, but blackened thrash sounds like a better tag to me. They are referring to themselves as ‘coffin rock’ which works too!
The trio churn and burn like Venom, Tank, Hellhammer and old Motorhead but faster, darker and heavier. Vokillist Stu sounds like he is shouting from the bottom of well and there are some occasional nice high notes thrown in as well.  The lyrics have gone in a slightly more classic horror vein with cuts like ‘Haunter of The Threshold’, ‘Headless Countess’ and the aforementioned, ‘Coffin Rock’.

Fast, loose and sloppy these guys thrash and bash like nobodies business, just hammering it out for the hell of it, making noise and pissing off the neighbours on purpose.  A band like Blackrat is not so much about technical proficiency, individual performances or elaborate songwriting, it is more about that nebulous and difficult to describe concept of ‘feel’.  However, you describe it, Blackrat have captured that intensity, drive and attitude of some of the early masters.

Track Listing:

  1. Into The Ebony

  2. Lust To Burn

  3. Coffin Rock

  4. Thrall To The Gallows

  5. Fang To Malice

  6. The Sign

  7. Headless Countess

  8. Haunter Of The Threshold

Line Up:

Stu Laughlin-Bass, Vocals
Russell Shanahan-Drums
Ian Lemke-Guitar, Vocals