Released By : J&R Adventures
Genre : Classic Rock, Hard Rock
Links : http://www.bccommunion.com/
01. The Outsider
02. Man in the Middle
03. I Can See Your Spirit
04. The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall
05. Save Me
07. Smokestack Woman
09. An Ordinary Son
10. Little Secret
The debut album BLACK COUNTRY from the modern day supergroup BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION really came out of nowhere upon its initial release and basically turned the rock music world up on its head. The album quickly became my favourite album of 2010 and I know a lot of others agreed with me too. Initially I was a little worried to hear that the group had a new album coming out so soon and was thinking it may have been a bit of a case of quickly cashing in while the buzz is still fresh. Hearing rumours that the debut was initially planned as a double-album and then discovering that some of these tunes here had already started to breathe life from those initial session certainly set my mind at ease a little and then it got me to thinking…. The average turn around these days for bands to release new albums is about two and a half to three years, but looking back to seventies and even the early eighties we need to remember that it was pretty common for bands to release albums in consecutive years…hell, some of the best albums of all-time have come within less than twelve months of their predecessors.
How does all this fare as far as BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION goes though?… Pretty bloody well actually! I’ll get this out of the way quickly…The follow up isn’t quite as good as the debut, but does that mean this new one isn’t a worthy piece of the puzzle…no, not at all. The only thing missing this time around is the surprise factor and maybe a couple less really amazing tunes, but this is still a very, very high quality rock album that shows us BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION are easily one of the most exciting classic-rock inspired bands going around this generation. Glenn Hughes once again sounds better than he ever has and definitely still deserves the title THE VOICE OF ROCK. Joe Bonamassa just blows me away here with his amazing guitar playing, drenched in electric blues but still plenty of hard rockin’ energy. The couple of songs he sings on this album really stand out as highlight moments, especially THE BATTLE FOR HADRIAN’S WALL which has a real BAD COMPANY vibe to it and would even have the maestro Paul Rodgers smiling nervously. Joe’s solo album released this year DUST BOWL was a pretty great album to be sure, but he just seems to find that little something extra when working with these guys. Derek Sherinian’s stellar keyboard skills are drawn to the front a little more than last time around, but thankfully not too in your face…just enough to be very important to the sound without overstepping its boundaries. As usual Jason Bonham puts his heart & soul into his drum work and really has become one of THE premiere drummers going around at the moment.
I will say that a couple of the songs here suffer a tiny bit from going on too long, the seven-plus minute SAVE ME is a great example. It’s a great song don’t get me wrong, but the couple of minutes of jamming toward the end really could have been removed as nothing real exciting happens. Then AN ORDINARY SON coming it at around eight minutes could have been cleaned up to around five and a half easily. However, highlights come hard & often here, maybe none more exciting than opener THE OUTSIDER that sounds like a cross between LED ZEPPELIN and SOUNDGARDEN…it’s comes storming out the gates and really gets you ready for a kick-ass rock record. FAITHLESS is a song that I can imagine being done by DEEP PURPLE and just sits in the middle of the album perfectly. LITTLE SECRET is a magnificent slow blues jam featuring some really good guitar work and sounds like it was inspired by the late Gary Moore. Regardless of all of these great songs though, the Bonamassa-led THE BATTLE FOR HADRIAN’S WALL takes the top spot for me personally and is easily one of my favourite songs of the year.
“2” isn’t quite as good as its predecessor, but it’s still one of the best albums of 2011 and just a great rock record in all regards. Definitely based in the classic rock feel of bands like DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN and BAD COMPANY, but there is also a hind of modern influence here that should be enough for just about any breathing person with an interest in any sort of rock music to stand up and take notice. Fans of the supergroup’s debut can simply go and buy this one blind-folded. Let’s hope BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION can keep up their level of intensity as is would be great to be able to rely on a new album from them every year, or if not at least every second year.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10