Swarm of the Lotus – When White Becomes Black

Swarm of the Lotus reminds me of an Army seargent, yelling at his recruits for the first time. Maybe it’s because I accidentally left the stereo in my car turned up too loud, but when I slid White White Becomes Black in for the first time I actually jumped when the first track erupted into my car.

Hailing from Baltimore, Swarm of the Lotus’s debut disc is the definition of “intense”. Metalcore to the bone, tracks like “Committed to Ash”, “Seeng Truth” and “Burn Autumn Burn” explode with pain and anger. I don’t know why I should single those three tracks out; none of the eleven sounds found within could be mistaken for easy-listening ballads.

White White Becomes Black reminds me of Neurosis, without all the build up. Where a Neurosis song might be ten minutes, with eight minutes of build up followed by two minutes of fury, Swarm of the Lotus skips the build up and gets right to the fury. Most of the songs on the album don’t have discernable beginnings or endings (or choruses, for that matter). Tracks like “Cherry Chocolate Salamander” and “Episode Infinity” both begin and end with a bang.

White White Becomes Black is very relentless. Maybe it’s because my son is a member of the “terrible two’s” club, but after a while I just began tuning the disc out due to sensory overload. Much like those first day Army recruits, after being yelled at for half an hour it all began running together.

Violent, aggressive, and very very intense, Swarm of the Lotus’ debut album is the sonic equivalent of an hour long tornado. While it may take you a couple of listenings to make it through the entire disc, the payoff makes it all worth while. White White Becomes Black is bottled up east coast aggression, pure and simple.

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