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