We got a early autumn nor’easter heading our way to rid the trees of all the lovely colored leaves. Time to batten down the hatches while listening to some great metal.
Black Country Communion: s/t
Take a couple of genuine Black Country folks and two guys that wished they were from there and mix with gusto. This is the super-group that to me at least blew the much-hyped Those Crooked Vultures out of the water. Despite the fact that TCV have an actual Led Zeppelin member in their number, BCC sounds more like genuine article. Then again BCC has the product of John Bonham’s loins behind the drum kit.
Jason Bonham channelling his father, Joe Bonamassa on guitar and vocals, with bass done by the ubiquitous Glenn “Voice of Rock” Hughes and Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater fame is quite a selection. Now this sort of release can be absolute self-indulgent rubbish, but this is nothing of the sort. Most often sounding like the missing link between Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake, this is quite something to behold. To some, this is what “heavy rock” means to them. It seeps with the bravado and power that made us get into all those bands in the first place.
There are no standout tracks on this CD or rather there is not one stinker, they are all that good. Please buy this album, so the band will be moved to stick together and do another one. BCC just can’t be a one-off, it needs to be a going concern. Nothing any of these guys have done in their careers rivals this release. They have touched this type of brilliance on occasion, but no where near as consistently as on this album. Expect this to be top of many best of the year lists at the end of the year.
Unsun: Clinic for Dolls
This release has an interesting distinction for me. It’s the first CD in a long time that I listened to back to back in the car (separated by a lecture I gave to high school students). I listened to the release in its entirety each way of the trip. Though I have never heard of this bunch, I am quite intrigued by the release. It eschews the symphonic nature of Within Temptation and Nightwish, from something a bit more basic heavy rock. They have managed to bring something different to the table and have avoided the clone tag.
There is, of course, a mixture of heavy stuff and more ethereal fare. The lead vocalist, Aya never seems out of her league no matter what she is singing whether it’s the “The Last Tear” or the rather heavy “Home”. She even manages to make her accented English an asset rather than something to mock. Their poppy sensibilities add a certain pleasant sheen to the whole affair.