Black River


Written by: PP on 21/09/2010 22:04:23

With an album title like "Black'n'Roll", you'd expect Black River to sound like a black metal fused into rock'n'roll somehow. Especially when you take a peak at their all-star lineup consisting of names from 'small' bands like Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Rootwater. Had I not mentioned the names of these bands, you'd probably think I was crazy for even mentioning them in the same review, considering how Black River has more in common with our local heroes Volbeat and seminal rock band The Cult than anything actually connected to death/black metal scenes.

According to their own words, Black River is a project which allows people from many vastly different musical spectrums to get together and explore their instrumental talent in areas that would've caused an outrage had their main groups expanded in this direction. I mean can you imagine Dimmu Borgir coming on stage and announcing that the next song is a punked up, classic rock'n'roll song with whiskey drenched vocals? Or Behemoth, the masters of incredible brutality both live and on record, to play a near-balladic song like "Lucky In Hell", complete with cow-bell drums (by the sounds of it) and screeching rock'n'roll soloing? I didn't think so either. The title track sounds almost identical to Volbeat's "Rock The Rebel/Metal The Devil" album, especially given the higher-pitch vocal department and the high octane tempo of the song. Elsewhere, you'll notice nods to Dimebag Darrell's brand of rock'n'roll when he used to play in Rebel Meets Rebel, and why not also parallels to classic Danzig records and other similar beer-flavored rock'n'roll outings.

Perhaps the best part about Black River is that they're not just a rock'n'roll band for the sake of being one. The songs are mean and lean, played with (in my opinion) more conviction than any Volbeat song for instance. So even if you're asking how authentic a black/death metal supergroup's take on rock'n'roll might be, I say they pull it off very well and have a number of enjoyable, even catchy rock tracks here that pay tribute to the Motörheads of the past. Did anyone expect anything less from these musicians anyway?


Download: Barf Bag, Black'N'Roll, Jumping Queenny Flash
For the fans of: Volbeat, The Cult, Danzig, Rebel Meets Rebel
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.02.2010
Mystic Production

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