BLACK MOTH Anatomical Venus

BLACK MOTH
Anatomical Venus

CANDLELIGHT / SPINEFARM

9/10

DESERT FLASHBACK: Black Moth excels in a crowded legion of Kyuss-laced Black Sabbath worshipers because the band reveres its forbearers’ central tenant—the almighty riff. On its third album, Anatomical Venus, the hard rocking, psychedelic UK quintet moves through 10 songs—or lenses, if you prefer a rose colored metaphor—that prove to be more than the sum of their parts. Anatomical Venus opens with “Istra” and “Moonbow,” both strong, but better in sequence, as the atmosphere of the first yields to the boogie of the second, and better yet, as they yield to the galloping “Sisters of the Stone.” The late album “Tourmaline” is a great, gloomy ballad that, again, benefits from that which precedes it and that which proceeds from it. Guitarists Jim Swainston and Federica Gialanz revel in simple, mesmerizing riffs—not to say they can’t shred. The solos slay, and the occasional dual guitar leads are Thin Lizzy-worthy. Vocalist Harriet Hyde (Bevan) offers a diverse performance that’s equal parts swagger and mystery. Old school doom and desert rock may indeed prove timeless, but these kind of bands are only ever a few notes shy of an all too familiar sound. Thankfully, Black Moth walks that fine line between fresh and familiar, and delivers a derived but distinct sound. Anatomical Venus is worth the wait and worth its weight. ~ Nick DeMarino