Black Peaks – All That Divides
Despite giving themselves a mammoth task to try and outdo their stunning debut, Black Peaks jump the hurdle with spectacular ease across a supremely accomplished sophomore album
To follow up an album as grand and musically rich as Statues was always going to be an almighty task, but not one too big for Brighton’s Black Peaks.
In some regards, All That Divides is perhaps the quintessential second album – taking a grand old dollop of the eccentricity, passion and pure brutality that their debut served and combining it with some more accomplished, confident musicianship and some more truly ball-busting vocals. Produced by Adrian Bushby, whose CV includes the likes of Muse and Foo Fighters, All That Divides is expertly polished, allowing room in every crevasse for each instrument to sound gloriously lavish and defined.
Frontman Will Gardner declared that thematically the album "represents a fear of a future where freedom is restricted." As such, the album cares not for convention, and instead sparks off a reactionary piece that tears pages out of the rule book to continue the band’s more than welcome habit for breaking new artist ground.
Speaking of Gardner, his rip-roaring vocals are even slicker than his stupendous moustache, with a performance that continues to explore a diverse range, as on Across the Great Divide and the album's second single, Home – the latter being so frantic, he leaves us feeling quite breathless.
An album that has five tracks all well over the five minute mark may well put some people off, and that does limit its accessibility to some extent. But again, there’s the reassured confidence of this brave record to do so, and there’s real treasure within the longer pieces. The four-piece play with bullish build-ups and bold riffage on the likes of The Midnight Sun and Slow Seas that allows the album to embark on a journey – and it’s a first class seat at that.
Listen to: Can’t Sleep, The Midnight Sun, Home