Black Anvil: Time Insults The Mind


By Adrien Begrand

Sometimes it best to just follow the lead of Darkthrone’s last three albums, and approach black metal from more of a punk frame of mind. The fact that New York black metal trio Black Anvil was created by three former members of hardcore mainstays Kill Your Idols is enough to compel some of the more, erm, fussy denizens of the USBM underground to sound the “false” alarm, but as it turns out, bassist Paul Delaney, guitarist Gary Bennett, and drummer Raeph Glicken instantly prove themselves more than capable on their barnstorming debut full-length, thanks in large part to their musical background.

Like Goatwhore, like Crucifist, Black Anvil is not so much preoccupied with the thin-sounding Scandinavian aspect of the genre (although we are privy to the odd melodic movement reminiscent of Dissection) as they are completely obsessed with the mid-1980s first wave of Bathory, Possessed, and early Celtic Frost, the kind of primitive, immediate, old school metal with crust-infused riffs thick enough to stick to your ribs. And although Time Insults the Mind was swiftly recorded over three days, there’s actual songwriting going on here, standouts like “Margin For Terror” and “777” murky yet insidiously catchy, while more adventurous cuts like “And You Thought You Knew Pain!” and “On This Day Death”, while epic in scope, still are focused enough to not flow completely off the handle. For all the metal influences, though, that punk element is never far away, rearing its head most obviously on the roaring, Discharge-esque “LTHLTK”, which brings the record to a blistering climax.

The cover of Celtic Frost’s timeless “Dethroned Emperor”, which appends the album, does seem a painfully obvious selection, but the way the threesome dive into the legendary track with devotion is irresistible, right down to the imitation of Tom Warrior’s “Death Roned Em Pear Ah!” It’s a fitting way to top off one of the most surprising, assured, and satisfying debuts of 2009, not to mention one of Relapse’s best signings in years.

Stream the full album here:



Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.