Black Country Communion returns with their fourth and arguably strongest album to date.
Following the release of Afterglow back in 2012 it looked like we had seen the last of Black Country Communion. However, like a phoenix rising from the flames (which is depicted on the album cover) a chance meeting between Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa post-Deep Purple’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame resulted in the resurrection of this much celebrated super group.
As the band’s fans would want and expect, BCCIV has got a very distinctively classic rock sound which highlights the musical heritage of the band members whilst at the same time the album has got a bit of a contemporary twist. There is a real melting pot of sounds and influences.
The heavy groove of the opening track “Collide” sets the scene for the rest of the album. BCCIV is packed full of infectious numbers and catchy hooks which simply sweep you away. Glenn Hughes doesn’t get called ‘The Voice of Rock’ for nothing, and you just have to listen to “Over My Head” or Glenn’s vocal performance on the prog-tastic number “Awake” to see just exactly why.
Joe Bonamassa really lets loose, delivering some blistering fret work, of course, there is face melting solos a plenty – particularly on tracks likes “The Cave”, “Sway” and “The Last Song For My Resting Place”. The latter of which is a bit different from the rest of the album, but not in a bad way. With this song Bonamassa has put his stamp on the record, the track is also the only song on BCCIV to which Joe takes over on lead vocals.
“The Last Song For My Resting Place” depicts the story of Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on board the RMS Titanic, who heroically played on with his musical compatriots as the ship went down. Subsequently, the distinctive undertones of both fiddle and mandolin help to illustrate the story, the track itself is a real masterpiece.
“The Crow” again takes the album in a different direction and brings the band’s distinctive classic rock sound right up to the present date. The hard rocking number features almost Rage Against The Machine-esque riffs in places. The beauty of this album is that each of the working elements of the group comes together seamlessly and organically and that is particularly the case with this track.
The masterful keyboard work of Derek Sherinian and the hard hitting rhythm of Jason Bonham is prominent throughout.
As you listen to the BCCIV you don’t find yourself skipping tracks, there are no fillers, from start to finish you hear a band at the top of their game. As with the group’s previous releases, Kevin Shirley has worked his magic on this one once again.
Collectively each member of this incredibly talented outfit has their own very active and successful careers outside of the band, as a result of which, who knows what the future holds for BCC. However, one thing is for sure, Black Country Communion has delivered one of the standout rock albums of 2017.
BCCIV will be released on 22nd September via Mascot Label Group. The band will be performing two exclusive UK shows next year in support of the album. Black Country Communion will be calling in at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on January 2nd and London’s Eventim Apollo on January 4th.
Photo: Neil Zlozower