Whenever Danish auteur filmmaker Lars Von Trier sets out to make a film, he sets a personal challenge for himself in each one. Whether it was using 100 cameras (“Dancer in the Dark”) or shooting an entire film on a sound stage devoid of all but the most essential elements of a set (“Dogville”), he manages to keep inventing challenges for himself in order to keep him struggling. Instead of merely cranking out another film in the style of his old works, he uses the hook of a challenge to keep him from forming an artistic rut to get stuck in. In that same spirit of striving and disciplinary object lesson, Louisville hardcore heroes Black God release their second EP, II, in accordance with their self-scribed “Rules of Black God.”
The cast down gauntlet for Black God is not an easy challenge to take on. On paper, it seems like they’ve set themselves up for failure. How awesome can an album under six songs, where each song is under two minutes, be anything but gimmicky and lame? Black God, however, only needs twelve minutes to dispel all of our misgivings. Deftly blending hardcore and heavy metal into a most rocking amalgam, II manages to avoid the more conventional pitfalls of modern hardcore while maintaining an undeniable hard edge to their sound. Like a tropical squall, Black God comes on hard and fast, and before you know it, they’ve finished. However, the same “Rules of Black God” that make the band’s sound so unique are also their biggest detriment. Right when we start to really give ourselves up to a particular song, it’s over before we can even begin to enjoy it fully.
II is as frustrating as it is brilliant. It’s what a lot of us have been waiting for, a brand-new take on a now aged genre. While it may scratch an itch for well-crafted hardcore rock, it only serves to makes us want so much more from Black God. Will they ever make a full-length album? Until they do, keep scratching.