Rating: 9 out of 10
Is rock really dead? While the recording industry has changed the genre is certainly not deceased. This year we already have outstanding releases from Stone Sour and Living Colour. Now Black Country Communion’s fourth release aptly called BCCIV continues the 2017 trend delivering classic kick ass hard rock. The formula is simple: great songwriting accompanied by excellent guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Producer extraordinaire, Kevin Shirley completes the package by creating a sound and mix that brings all of the super group’s powerful elements to the forefront evenly.
The tensions between Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa have apparently been resolved but obviously, have contributed to an amazing creative endeavor. As with most great rock bands, tension can lead to great songs and BCCIV is loaded with brilliance. The album is filled with Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin influences, yet the sound is new and fresh. Jason Bonham provides the steady heavy beat that he is known for a while Joe Bonamassa switches from great blues riffs to awesome meat and potatoes hard rock. You know he can shred with the best guitarists, yet he doesn’t overdo it. It’s all soulful and fits into the framework of great songs. What makes this album great is the fact that each member is a rock star yet no ego takes over. Black Country Communion functions as a great unit. Kevin Shirley must take some credit for reining in Glen Hughes, Jason Bonham Joe Bonamassa, and Derek Sherinian just enough to play as a great band.
The entire album is loaded with highlights. The first two songs “Collide” and “Over My Head” get the album off to a great start, but unlike a lot of releases, the album does not fall off a cliff. Each song carries musical merit that makes this album a worthwhile listen throughout. “The Crow” is perhaps the best track due to the fact is melds all of the band’s talents into an amazing listen. It features a Zeppelin-esque beat which also delves into bass and keyboards that harken back to the best of Deep Purple, only to be followed by more great lead guitar. “Love Remains” also has a Physical Graffiti feel that evolves into something new and groundbreaking. Glenn Hughes delivers powerful vocals and balls out heavy funk bass work. Kevin Serinian provides 70’s style keyboards that enhance an already great sound.
Buy this album now.
Written by Joe Becht. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBecht