US industrial Rock newcomers Black December may have only formed last summer and cut their first album shortly after in (ironically) December of the same year, but their sound already displays a maturity and polish that has seen them already land support slots with KMFDM. Drawing on raucous elements from bands such as Ministry, Korn, Deftones, Pantera, and The Prodigy the band favour an aggressive hard rock formula interspersed with electronic elements that walks the line balances alt rock angst and outright industrial malice.
'Vol. 1' is a monolithic slab of hard riffs, throbbing riffs, nasty electronics and gritty sing-a-long vocals. Tracks such as 'With This Ending', 'Saving', 'The Division Of Hate', 'I Don't even Know You' and 'Hell On Wheels' combine the best elements of the early nu metal bands with the stomp and grind of Wax Trax! in its heyday. They're not dance friendly but they'll get you moving in a club... if only to fuck shit up! While tracks like 'This Is Not The New', and 'All You Want' take a more mellow and considered approach which really lets their song writing skills shine through.
In terms of production the album has a bit of a 90s Wax Trax! meets Nothing style that is gritty, heavy and a bit grungy round the edges, but always top shelf. It doesn't come off as an exercise in nostalgia for the sake of it but rather a nice nod in the direction of the era that spawned the bands that inspired them.
'Vol. 1' is a short, sharp and effective introduction for the band. There's no remixes tagged on for effect, no musical interludes, and no grand concepts at work here. Instead what the band present is good ol' fashioned hard industrial rock. It's great for head-banging and moshing. It's got memorable riffs and sing-a-long choruses. It does exactly what it needs to do in order to get your attention and keep it. Based on this you can guarantee Black December will be setting out to make a name for themselves on the live circuit.