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Planks – The Darkest of Grays/Solicit To Fall

Southern Lord

This album marks German three-piece Planks’ first CD release and brings together their two previous 12” records; last year’s The Darkest of Grays full-length and 2011’s Solicit To Fall EP. The two were recorded so close to each other that they join rather seamlessly into an epic hour of darkness and, occasionally, light.

Planks cover so much ground it’s almost pointless trying to classify them. Yes there are thin traces of black metal, and the shadows of Converge and Cult Of Luna lurk in the corners too. But like those bands Planks throw in a skip-load of diversity. “Fallen Empires Are Ruling” and “The Dead Return To War” both start with riffs that could soundtrack the gates of hell opening. “A Casket City” changes the flow completely with its spooky piano before throwing you into the album’s highlight “…and Rivers Will Follow,” which builds up to a Geordie Walker-style riff so groovy that you’ll want to avoid listening to it in public so as not to look like a lunatic when you involuntarily throw down.

There are no choruses here, no attempts to write a hit; just a band clearly focused on the cathartic power of what they do. Highly recommended.

Now…lads…about that name…

-James Barry-

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