On Earth Or In Hell

Black Absinthe

Black Absinthe from Toronto releases their second album.
June 12, 2024

Heavy Metal from Toronto is what we have for you today kids. This is a power trio from Toronto that has been in the scene since 2011 and is launching their sophomore full album. The name of the band is BLACK ABSINTHE that released On Earth Or In Hell last March 2023 with 8 tunes for our listening pleasure. The album kicks off with “Dead Queen” that has some trash elements to it, but you notice that this is not what the proposal is so I think. The musicianship is top notch as expected in a band on the road for that long.

“Nobody Knows” starts and is more to the side of the classic Heavy Metal. The band explains on their website that one of their influences is the bands from the good old NWOBHM, and you can feel this on their sound. The band also likes to explore some different textures in their riffs, changing the style in each song. “Jean Lafray” is a completely different song in its style from the previous 2. We reach half of our journey with “Call Of The Void” and the riffs are plenty and varied. This one even has some touches of SLAYER. However, there is still something missing as despite the songs being good, nothing has impressed me on the melodies so far.

Another high energy one is the album title “On Earth Or In Hell '' that is one of the best of the bunch so far. As a good Canadian band, the bass presence of Kyle Scarlett is felt in every song as it does not always follow the guitar lines and this is great. The vocal of good guitar player Jack Serre is fit for the genre but it locks that extra sparkle to impress. He can definitely use his throat in a variety of styles including some guttural but I believe he is a better guitar player than a singer. Good riffs and syncopated drums started “The Hard Way” that made me think of bands like BUTHOLE SURFERS for some reason. The drummer Fernando Villalobos is also solid and does not compromise. The best song title that I heard in an long time is “Essencially Fucked” that  matches the situation of the majority of the population nowadays.  This one has some elements of Punk as well bringing yet, another flavour to the mix. Just for the title it gets my attention and the song is another with a good musicianship and not impressive melody.

The tunes are well arranged with a lot of interesting riffs but there is nothing catchy on them.If the band output is deemed to be Heavy Metal rooted in the NWOBHM, I was expecting it to be heavy but melodic like JUDAS PRIEST and is not the case. It sounds more Thrash that Heavy Metal to my ears. We end our journey with “Twisted Past” that has the best vocal of the album in my opinion as there is no guttural and the melody is more present. A good work with great musicianship but still missing some flavours to be added to be great.

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"On Earth Or In Hell" Track-listing:

1.Dead Queen

2.Nobody Knows

3.Jean Lanfray

4.Call of the Void

5.On Earth or in Hell

6.The Hard Way

7.Essentially Fucked

8.Twisted Past


Black Absinthe Lineup:

Jack Cerre- guitar, vocals
Kyle Scarlett- bass
Fernando Villalobos- drums

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