Seattle’s BLACKQUEEN returns with its all-important Album Number Three here, summarily getting down to the business of ‘The Destructive Cycle’, sludge reminiscent of the much-missed RABIES CASTE in moments, the angular slash ‘n’ burn of early QUICKSAND in others. Surprisingly, most of all, is that this instrumental introduction didn’t bore the ever-loving crap out of me as the majority of such things are wont to do. ‘Feed The Worm’ is the antithesis of the opener, staccato riff attack and a (possibly subconscious) nod to the heshers in the triumphant 0:29-0:44 section, all anchored by a rhythm section reminiscent of CRETIN in its abandon. At almost exactly the halfway point, the brakes get slammed, and our whiplashed necks and bleeding ears are lulled into a brief sense of safety by a brief interlude – all too brief, in my opinion – that soon returns to the frantic pace of before.

Though it takes a while to get started, once ‘Needle Grinding Well’ gets going, it’s pretty relentless, but also reveals one small gripe with the album as a whole, in that – while undeniably well-constructed, and catchy – what BLACKQUEEN seems to have delivered is a collection of solid ideas, but ideas that lack memorability on the grander scale.

Maybe subsequent listens will change my mind, and there’s honestly a better-than-good chance of The Destructive Cycle being a grower with the earworm clawhammer swing and stuttering boogie of ‘Calefactorum Occulta’ almost forcing my words about memorability down my throat, but for now the best I do is tell you there’s definitely something going on here. I’m just not sure what that “something” is…yet.
Review By: Lord Randall

The Destructive Cycle
Roman Numeral Records
3 / 6