* No tracklisting on album. Back cover, inner sleeves, spine and labels all black with no text
ew artists in the contemporary sphere can not only surprise-drop a follow-up to their most celebrated album out of nowhere, but have it met with a universal notion of intrigue across all facets of musical factions. Such unpredictability is just one small part of Dean Blunt’s enduring appeal.
Black Metal 2, with its cover a tongue-in-cheek take on Dr Dre’s 2001, follows on from 2014’s Black Metal in both sonics and approach. Like the first edition, Blunt’s tracks often contrast casual lyrical themes and a low-slung Hackney charm with sincere and grandiose musical backdrops.
The mix of lofi americana in the softly warbled guitars and dusty drums with Blunt’s casual British wordplay gives the album a sense of placelessness. It’s full of emotional peaks - tracks like the opener ‘Vigil’ are built around emotive symphonic staccatos and golden vocals, and the soaring ‘Sketamine’ sounds like Grouper scoring the end credits to a beautiful imaginary film. There’s smoky meanderings in the gently warping ‘ZaZa’, the country-leaning chug ‘La Raza’ and picturesque acoustic scenery on the lush instrumental track ‘Woosah’.
As a whole, Black Metal 2 is a collection of fresh reimaginings of modern and legacy pop culture by a shapeshifting, generational British talent.