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Black Svan | ’16 Minutes’


There’s no question about it. This is huge.

It sounds huge, feels huge, and is clearly the work of a band who either should be, or soon will be, huge.

I had no idea Ireland’s Black Svan had toured Europe with Fozzy until I read the bio – and I’m not sure how much anyone in this country even really knows their name, which is a ridiculous situation on the basis of what’s in here.

This is some incredibly good rock music, and by rights they should be headlining large venues under their own steam. They’ve got the type of music that cries out for it.

The band have crafted an album’s worth of tracks that fuse Soil, American Head Charge, Alice In Chains, Drowning Pool, Fozzy and Disturbed into a really cohesive and punchy whole.

It’s big time, American sounding metal writ large.

Perhaps too American at times, in fairness – ‘Dream Forever’, with lyrics like ‘By the power invested in me’, and things like that, do suggest a certain pumped up GI spinning this in his tank or whatever.

Never worry about that – the guitar tone and solos are bliss. The drums are chesty and full. The melodies go down like honey and it just all sounds so effortless.

The title track just crushes it in the vein of Soil and Drowning Pool, with a massive crunch leading into nice harmonies over some watery clean guitar. It’s in the exact mould of all those bands that took over from Alice In Chains when they were on their enforced hiatus.

‘Immortal’ has perhaps a bit of Trivium about it, albeit slower, and a pretty huge breakdown, but some good Draiman-esque clean vocals. ‘No More’ has a bit of Pantera in it, although probably more of Soil’s ‘Halo’.

It rules in a saturday night booze up kind of way. If I were to be very critical, I’d say the (very talented) singer is perhaps trying a bit too hard at being Layne Staley here, but it’s so hard to argue when it’s pulled off this well.

It’s better than about five of the songs on the last AIC record, for goodness sake.

The real shiners on here however are some of the closing tracks. ‘STD’ is nothing short of an invitation to the dancefloor to whip the hair about and have a good bash, and that chorus, with it’s awesome and unorthodox chord change, is simply to die for.

It all wraps up with ‘Sickness’, which is this bands epic: an absolute mountain of American riffing and melody that towers over every other track on here. It’s fantastic, with a standout vocal performance and a hear-it-once hook that is instantly memorable.

Can you honestly ask anything more from modern rock music? Dont answer that. But you get the point.

Some will hear this style and be critical of its seemingly aching slavishness to big time USA-metal. The accusation is well founded.

Both the lyrical content and the riffs have it all over them. That can be a little grating.

Yet it’s so easy to overlook that and just enjoy the music. Black Svan make it easy to do that, and are to be congratulated for it.

It’s clearly the result of intense effort, practise and drive.

Speaking of drive, it’s most certainly one for the car, should you be going down Route 66 any time soon.

I hope this gets picked up and I hope Black Svan are able to make a fist of it. Songs like ‘STD’ absolutely deserve their place in the rock clubs right beside the big names.

Nothing else could do better credit to such cool songs.

Well done to the guys – MI is surprised and somewhat floored. Now… cans!

4.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 07/04/14


26 Comments
  1. I’d wager the reason why most of us on here haven’t of them is because they’re not particularly good. Listened to 3 of their tunes and I honestly don’t know how this review is so positive. Unoriginal fluff in my opinion. Sounds like a bad version of Stained at times. Jaysus.

  2. That’s actually a quality track.

  3. King Hostile Says:

    Thats pretty rocking, wouldn’t be exactly my cup of tea. But I wouldn’t turn it off.

    The sound is cool, really well recorded πŸ™‚

    Rock on!

  4. valedictionkev Says:

    Played with these guys along with Diamond Head years back, great to see that they are still going and the vocalist has a great range. Well deserved, best of luck to them.

  5. wqobnfqw sounds a bit jealous..probably sitting in his bedroom trying to join an A chord to a D minor without slicing his little fairy soft fingers open. Get a life kid.

    Brilliant band Brilliant album. Keep it going lads.

  6. Excellent song.

  7. excellent band, awesome sound, seen them play a few times, they put on an epic live show, if they are in a town near you i would highly recommend that you go check them out

  8. Great to see more quality coming out of my home town. Fair play Kenn, Jagger and the boys. Sounds very professional

  9. audio_girl Says:

    this is a well deserved, positive review of an extremely hard working and passionate band. black svan will indeed be picked up, they have the skills, talent and drive. we’ve been waiting a long time for this album, it’s been worth the wait! \m/

  10. I hear a good dose of STP in there. Not my cuppa but good track, well written pop-rock and well produced.

  11. dj alan kennedy Says:

    seen this band a few years ago ,they had the hair on my neck standing up the blend together so well as a band and stage presence was very strong delighted to hear a band from my own town are doin so well keep up the great work lads ROCK ON. !!

  12. kind of an AiC vibe off it, hard to believe they are irish. Don’t know how I’ve never heard of them before this review.

  13. Queenrocks Says:

    These lads worked very hard to get this off the ground , sacrificed a lot , and deserve huge success which no doubt is only a matter of time before it comes . Well done lads .P.s I like Jaggers little beard .

  14. PhilFest-Ireland Says:

    Well, they’re a headline act at PhilFest this June. I see it, and as soon as I heard this I knew this band could be huge! Giving them a hand….
    Check out PhilFest-Ireland on Facebook.

  15. Very good track. Love that effect on the solo and your man’s voice is really, really great. Wouldn’t listen to as much of this stuff nowadays but credit where it’s due. And the video doesn’t even look embarrassingly Irish!

  16. shared the stage with these guys once or twice a long time ago, sound lads and always put on a good show. Great riffs, great singer and a big sound!

  17. Been to see them 12 times and they just get better as time goes on πŸ˜‰ keep up the great work lads hope to see some gigs soon πŸ˜€

  18. excellant band, not major into this type of music but defo got me going during the few gigs i seen them live! one for the future for sure!!

  19. JumboPatterson Says:

    After reading the review I was sorely disappointed. Very professional but sounds like a load tripe.

  20. Great rhythm guitar in that. Lovely sound. Hope they do well

  21. spoderman01 Says:

    Can deffo hear a lot of Soil/STP in there. Fair play. A better effort than most.

  22. Its well put together and the vocals are great but the riffs are fairly generic and dull. Hope it goes well for them all the same.

  23. Higginbotham Says:

    Honestly don’t see the appeal here. It’s grand enough stuff, well played and produced, but it’s utterly bland and generic to these ears. Fair play for putting the work in, I just think this kind of thing has been done to death literally thousands of times over the last 20 years.

  24. Black Shepherd Says:

    Well, if anything, it’s a sad indictement on the state of the quality of production and singers in Irish rock and metal that by simple merit of having those two elements nailed, despite a total lack of originality (in the three songs I’ve now heard), they appear to be an anomalous diamond of talent and potential in among the rough.

  25. Nu metal kid 2016 Says:

    Seen these guys at The Siege Of Limerick last year and my God were they amazing! They remind of Soil and Godsmack a little bit and their album was soooo worth the buy. A very highly recommended for those in the Hard and Heavy Metal scene! πŸ™‚

  26. Nu metal kid 2016 Says:

    *Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Scene

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