Monday, September 27, 2010

New Release: Black Country Communion - Black Country

Release Date: September 20, 2010
Label: J&R Adventures

I discovered this album last week while perusing the new releases for the week.  I had no clue this supergroup existed, but based on the participating musicians, it sounded interesting.

Black Country Communion consists of the following personnel:
Glenn Hughes (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple) - vocals, bass
Joe Bonamassa - guitars, vocals
Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham) - drums
Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X) - keyboards

If I had to describe this band in one short phrase, it would be "updated 70s metal."  Think Black Sabbath with cleaner production.  The guitar sound is heavy, the bass is in your face, and the drums are awesome.  One of my biggest criticisms is that the keyboards seem to get lost in the mix; poor Derek must feel pretty useless.  It's not a bad sound...for a few tracks.  This album is definitely loud; it feels to me like it could use a lot more texture.

Here is the track list:
1Black Country3:15
2One Last Soul3:52
3The Great Divide4:45
4Down Again5:45
6Song of Yesterday8:33
7No Time4:18
9The Revolution In Me4:59
10Stand (At the Burning Tree)7:01
11Sista Jane6:54
12Too Late For the Sun11:21

I have to say, I have mixed feelings about this band.  There are musical passages that are brilliant (it seems those passages are mostly the slower ones).   There are also long stretches that feel like rehashed 70s metal that was dead and buried 30 years ago.  At any rate, it might be worth a listen, if you're into heavy, more technical music.  It's obvious these guys can play; there are some excellent guitar solos, and sick drum fills (although I am by no means an expert on drum fill quality).

The album does end on a very good note; "Too Late For The Sun" is an excellent track, and probably the best of the album.  At some points in the album, I wanted it to end, but at the end, I wanted to hear more.

This probably could've made an excellent EP.


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