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Black Bouquet - Pray to the Knife (Self-Released)

26 December 2023

Raleigh, North Carolina’s six-piece Black Bouquet are back after the debut EP Haunt Me Once More with their new concept album titled Pray to the Knife. Combining 2000s emo like My Chemical Romance with 80s goth and post-punk like The Cure, Black Bouquet obviously set you up for a passionate, emotionally-charged rollercoaster and they do not disappoint. The band’s sound has always been theatrically rich and full, and now they add an extra layer of complexity with an album that, according to the band, tells the “story of survival after grief told through the eyes and in the words of troubled lovers.”

Black Bouquet’s unique fusion of genres is on full display with the lead single “Run and Hide” with singer Violet O. sounding like Gerard Way fronting a New Order dance rock track complete with Peter Hook basslines. Elsewhere, there’s touches of synthpop (“Pendulum”) and darkwave (“Footsteps”), and the band manages to combine numerous influences without the album once sounding scattered or disjointed. In fact, it’s a remarkably cohesive, consistent effort despite it’s sprawling and epic nature. 2024 isn’t even here yet, but it looks like Pray to the Knife, which is released February 16th, is already set to be one of the year’s most exciting releases.