The second studio album by Dean Blunt entitled Black Metal will be released at the beginning of next month, and is out on the Rough Trade label. This follows last year’s The Redeemer, whilst previous releases have been as part of Hype Williams, a collective comprised of Blunt and Inga Copeland. Both of their recording names are aliases, which, along with the amount of odd rumours released at the time, reveal that Blunt hasn’t been too keen to give too much of himself away.
The second album of his solo material shows a softer, more intimate side to Blunt’s singer songwriting whilst still maintaining stylistic aspects of both rock and rap. “Lush” opens the release with a taste of Blunt’s deep, gravel-y voice punctuating strings and percussion. “50 Cent” is made up of beautiful guitar melodies interwoven with soft drums and a steady beat. Blunt’s lyrics are echoed with a female counterpart creating a beautiful symmetry to the track.
The folk inspired “Blow” is made up of equal parts whimsical instrumental, equal parts blasts of deep, almost aggressive vocals. “Heavy” is certainly more noise heavy, with crackled synth and staggered lyrics; “Yes I never knew that girl, what about her?” On the other hand “Molly & Aquafina” is a slow, sad track filled with “las” and a sorry tale; “Lady don’t go, I think it’s time you should know, it’s not the way that should go” and “’cause you’ll never be, the one I want you to be, ‘cause I know that person is me”.
A saxophone instrumental comes in at the interim; “Forever” is a thirteen-minute track that marks the middle of the album. “Punk” is more upbeat, with a more classic rap beat playing behind Blunt’s short sharp verses. “Country” is a noisy, experimental layering of sounds leading into more classic Blunt style vocals in “Hush” which has attitude, along with saxophone and a jerky backing track; “for all the niggas that knew me, sue me”.
Closing track “Grade” squeaks and pulses about with a brooding synth backing and a juxtaposition between Blunt’s lyrics “look at me, look at me, bad man wanna be me” and soft, ethereal female vocals and more soaring sax. All in all, Black Metal is a dark, absorbing album which starts off by revealing Blunt’s softer, more country inspired sound before coming full circle to expose experimental, passionate rap and instrumentals. It seems Dean Blunt is trying it all, and revealing more about himself in the process.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.