Calgary-based goth metallers Benevolent Like Quietus certainly rustle up a black-clad storm on their debut album Kill The Bliss… Eleven tracks (one a cover, of which more later), all of them with something to offer and with enough track-to-track variation to keep even the sternest critic interested from start to finish.

Although a cynical man (IE you – Ed) might say we’ve heard it all before, it’s impossible not to get swept up in Kill The Bliss. If you’re of a misanthropic bent I defy you not to get a bit hot under the collar for the hit single material that is the excellent Where Dead Hearts Reside. Sure, it’s little more than a well-constructed collision of Once Second-era Paradise Lost and HIM, but by cracky it’s done well; The guitars of Ty Frederick and Matt Springer are absolutely gargantuan (especially when you realise that this album is self produced… is there any end to these lads’ talents?), building an adamantine wall of sound over which vocalist (or should I say Lead Stentor) Daniel Louden unleashes a bedevilled croon for the ages. It’s pulse-quickening stuff, and just goes to show that any band with this level of talent is quite able to get a great job done without all singing, all dancing studios and ‘big name’ producers.

And then there’s that cover. Whilst Tears For Fears’ morose death ballad Mad World is a staple goth go-to, and has been for seemingly aeons, nobody yet has invested it’s twisted fragility with the sheer kill power that BLQ manage here; Of course they stay faithful to the song’s base structure; it’s a classic, and you don’t mess with those. But thereafter the band completely make it their own, and then some.

Of course, you’re not meant to smile whilst listening to black clad hymns like Love’s Inferno, but one man’s lachrymose is often another’s source of huge enjoyment (just ask the much missed Peter Steele), and it is simply impossible not to walk away from Kill The Bliss without a huge smile on your usually stern-faced dial after close exposure to this album. It’s hard to imagine a better album of it’s type emerging from the gloaming this year, so why not leave me to my reveries and just hurry on and secure a copy as soon as you can. Satisfaction’s guaranteed, I promise.

Kill The Bliss is out on March 13th.