Reviewed: October 2019
Released: 2019 – Self Released
Black Sky is a tricky record to review.
If you’re into the sort of sludge encrusted doom that owes its weight to the likes of Electric Wizard, then there is actually very little to dislike about MNVRA‘s debut.
It lurches forward at a measured but purposeful pace, with vocalist/guitarist Byron Hawke trading his belligerent holler with some fuzzed-out, low end riffs. Also, on the first track particularly, he breaks off into some deft soloing for a punked-out stoner band.
The flip side of this is there is very little about this three track release that lifts it above what could be considered standard fare.
Whether this puts you off reading any further depends on how invested you are in the swinging lurch and almighty drone of the scene.
If you turned up the volume on Black Sky and turned down the lights, the EP could transport you to the front row of a sweat-box venue where these songs would more than likely come in to their own; but on record, they have limited appeal and I feel like No Solution‘s sneering chorus really needs to be experienced in a visceral way rather than listened to from the comfort of your easy chair.
In fact, I’d wager that MNRVA are, first and foremost, a formidable live band. One that could easily bludgeon you with their three-pronged take on thick, heavy music.
Perhaps Black Sky should be taken as little more than a taster for what awaits those with enough verve to buy a ticket and push themselves to the front row. There is certainly enough swagger across the three tracks to convince the listener of the band’s credibility; it’s just I’m not convinced Black Sky has enough going on to warrant repeated plays… and maybe that’s the point.
Maybe this is intended to be a punch in gut that doesn’t NEED to repeat its message. Play once. Bang heads. Move on.
No fucks given.
01. Not the One
02. No Solution
03. Black Sky
Byron Hawk – Guitar/Vocals
Kevin Jennings – Bass/Vocals
Gina Ercolini – Drums