Our first introduction to Swiss black metal act Blackwall was a combination of their huge sound and their description of the band as “five average guys with an above-average hatred of today’s world.”
We were instantly intrigued and the band are right up there with some of the heaviest music that we’ve featured on the site. They fuse scarily huge vocals with some superb metal instrumentals and raw intensity that’s just begging to be moshed and headbanged along to.
Blackwall first started out about ten years ago but members have come and gone, they’ve had a couple of years away and returned with a new vocalist on board for a brand new EP that launched on New Year’s Day. And boy, is it heavy.
The EP’s title track Crown of Creation gives you a clue as to where the band stands. It starts with a big scream then an onslaught of savage drums and guitars under the terrifying vocals of Julien Joliat. Another barrage of wild instrumentals and the gruff screams eventually drop into a more laid-back section of drawn-out guitars that feed into an awesome guitar solo. Give it a listen below:
But the band sent us the closing track, the aptly titled The Last Agony, which opens up with stabbing guitar riffs over ludicrously heavy driving drums. A verse that we’re fairly sure it’s illegal to smash your head along in appreciation with follows, then drawn-out guitars add a bit of atmosphere to the mix.
Huge bass drum comes in then flows into a severe black metal chorus that increases in intensity then ends on a huge guttural scream. The funky riff gradually returns and launches us into another neck-breaking verse, which this time drops into a massive guitar solo that’s so good they created a YouTube video for it. The track closes with savage screams of “No more lies, Hope for your demise” under booming guitars. Give it a listen below.
The EP is packed with more great black metal meets metalcore savagery and we absolutely love it – especially the opener Run, which we demand you go and listen to now. Then… come back and have a read of our chat with the band to find out more about them, what’s coming from the new-look Blackwall and more. Read on below…
GR: Who are Blackwall?
BW: “We are Blackwall from Biel/Bienne from Switzerland. We are five average guys with daily jobs and families, but with an above-average hatred of today’s world politics, people’s hunger for power over others, shallowness, misinformation, you name it.
“Blackwall was founded in 2010 out of the ashes of another local band, today there are two guys from the original lineup left. The rest of the lineup was basically found through friends.
“We are a bilingual group. This means we all speak German and French, and in discussions we have, the languages change every minute, or are even mixed in the same sentence, which is funny but kinda typical for the bilingual and culturally diverse city Biel/Bienne where we come from.”
GR: You just released The Last Agony. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
BW: “The Last Agony was written and composed in a few days during the forest fires in Brazil last year. For us this was a huge tragedy, some of us felt lost, terrible and even responsible. Nature doesn’t grow back as quick as you can burn it down, and if it’s basically the lungs of our planet, this is quite terrifying. So out of this feeling of hopelessness emerged this song.
“Sometimes people feel overwhelmed by the complexity and magnitude of things that should be done to do something about climate change. They get depressed, or feel that it maybe is even too late and they give up. So in this song, a person gives up hope and longs for the end of the world, so he can finally have some peace. The most important thing is actually to not give up hope. We are not saying the person in this song is right. It’s a song about desperation.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
BW: “We play a mix of Death Metal, Metalcore and Black Metal. Actually, we don’t give a shit about how our style would be categorized. We just play things that are kinda what we grew up with. And because some guys of the group grew up with Trash/Death Metal, others with Groove and Speed Metal and the some with Deathcore and Metalcore, and so what we play today that’s what you get in the end.”
GR: Amen to that! What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
BW: “It’s mostly bad or negative things. Things that keep us thinking and are bothering us. Some of our lyrics are to be understood sarcastically, some more serious. The lyrics of the song Crown of Creation are written from the perspective of humanity. Mankind wants to claim all the resources of the earth for itself, because as the “crown of creation” it has the right to do so.
“The song The Doctor is about about a plastic surgeon who likes to operate on people. Because today everybody needs to have big tits or an ass like Kim Kardashian, which looks like a diaper to be honest. Just go to the gym and do some squats like the rest of us who want a nice ass. Or even better, just be happy with the way you are, which is probably perfect.
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
BW: “Based on all band members Slayer, Lamb of God, Behemoth, Strapping Young Lad, Pantera, The Acacia Strain, All Shall Perish, Mastodon and Fear Factory.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
We are coming back from a 2 year break, with a new vocalist and new songs. We would like to release another EP with new songs somewhen this year. The EP we will possibly produce ourselves or perhaps even have produced. Our main goal for 2020 is to have as many gigs as possible in the local metal scene of Switzerland and to share our music as far and wide as possible.