Album Review: Black Peaks - 'All That Divides'


Four burly men from Brighton? Check. Brexit related angst? Check. Intermittent screaming? Check. Black Peaks’ sophomore album ‘All That Divides’ really does have it all.

Inspired by the ongoing atmosphere of uncertainty following the Brexit referendum, ‘All That Divides’ is a (0:41 of opener ‘Can’t Sleep’ nicely summarises my own feelings on Brexit, aka an anguished scream).

Frontman Will Gardner has said of 'All That Divides', “this album represents the fear of a future where freedom is restricted” which all sounds terribly current and serious. Not to worry though if political relevance isn’t your bag, his lyrics explore a sense of anxiety and loss of connection that also speak to more universal themes so this isn’t nine tracks of Bono-esque preaching.

There can be a difficult balance to strike when writing music during a time of political upheaval; on the one hand you don’t want to ignore it, on the other you don’t want to be too broad stroked with how you approach it. At times Black Peaks lack nuance and settle into melodrama, but the overall feeling of tension that they are trying to convey certainly comes through. 

With most of the tracks lasting around five minutes apiece, this sprawling rock opus is an intense listen. Gardner’s vocals soar and scream over the layers of guitar, bringing the influence of former tour partners System Of A Down to the fore. Penultimate track ‘Slow Seas’ lulls you into a false sense of security with its gentle opening, before returning to their signature heavier prog sound.

If you like your rock tunes loud and filled with existential angst, then boy is this is the record for you. It should make for an unmissable live show when they hit the road this month. They’ve honed their craft touring alongside giants like System of A Down and Architects and look set to scale their own peaks with ‘All That Divides’.

Words by Hattie Long