Album Reviews

The Black Rain – Water Shape review

Black Rain Water Shape

Release Date: Out Now!

Label: Atomic Stuff Records

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: Official Site

 

Members:

Mirko Greco – Vocal
Eugenio Bonifazi – Guitar
Marco Molteni – Bass
Raffaele Marchesini – Drums

 

Tracklisting:

1. Shadows

2. Mesmerize

3. Rock’n’roll Guy

4. (S)he’s so Amazing

5. Robert Johnson

6. Times of Trouble

7. Brand New Shoes

8. Without Love

9. Flamenco Dancer

10. Naked

11. King of Stones

 

“What is the shape of water? It’s simple: the water doesn’t have any form! The water takes the shape of the container in which it is located. So that’s the concept behind “Water Shape”. The themes developed in the lyrics are different, but they’re always trying to talk not only of simple experiences, but some questions are asked, stories are told in different ways, surely more intimate: the entire work tries to touch, as far as possible, the essence of things. Every listener gets the message in a different, personal, way as the experiences told are metabolized differently by each person, as well as water takes the shape of each different container where it is poured. Take any track of this album and make it yours, let it flow in, let it thrill you. Become collectors of experiences told in music.”

Quite a deep statement coming from the notes accompanying this album. At first glance this could easily be a prog epic with 3 tracks spanning some 60 minutes of music or more or it could simply be a slightly pretentious art-rock release that is more style over substance. Thankfully the truth is far far easier to bear. What we are presented with is the second full length release from Italian rockers The Black Rain that encapsulates blues driven classic rock that sits neatly alongside other retro driven releases of the last few years.

Shadows’ has the sort of intro that would be great to walk out on stage to building slowly with a great guitar and bass driven groove and on track two, ‘Mesmerize’ mixes a little bit of southern rock sensibilities. Variety is certainly the theme here and on track three, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Guy’ although softer in tone, stands out from the crowd and is the album’s lead single with a YouTube video currently doing the rounds. ‘(S)He’s So Amazing’ with Francesco Grandi guesting on vocal duties would sit neatly on early material by The Cult and the excellent ‘Robert Johnson’ which feels lyrically at least, the natural successor to ‘Johnny Be Goode’.

Powerful rhythmics, distorted guitars and a unique voice is how the band describe themselves and we see this more on ‘Times of Trouble’ than any other track on the album. Angst driven vocals from Greco are complimented by an almost military marching band drum beat and some great fuzzy guitar sounds that evoke memories of early Tony Iommi.  Not wanting the listener to settle into a particular style or groove, the band flex styles and approaches on almost every song. ‘Brand New Shoes’  for example sounds closer to The Black Crowes yet still manages to sit comfortably next to the Sabbath-esque predecessor. The flexibility in styles does not mean the band are without identity or focus however. There is a classic hard rock vibe underpinning all of the tracks here that bonds the whole album together. The mix of styles simply stops the listener getting bored and in a world where getting people to buy or even listen to an album in full is difficult, this model ensures that there is a reason to go through every track multiple times.

Without Love’ is one of the more mellow, gentle tracks on the album and yet all the more powerful for it and is followed by ‘Flamenco Dancer’ and ‘Naked’ showing what guitarist Eugenio Bonifazi adds to proceedings. It’s not often you get an album where fuzz laden, distorted guitar work can appear on on track and a lilting Spanish guitar on another.

Album closer ‘King of Stones’ is a track that Bono and The Edge can only dream of writing these days (Make sure you let the track play out as there is a hidden element at the end in the last 2 minutes) and wraps a very interesting album from a band that although was formed in 2002 have only managed 2 full length releases to date. The Black Rain’s début album ‘Night Tales’ was only recorded between September 2011 and February 2012 and mixed by Luca Bignardi, winner of 3 Grammy Awards. ‘Water Shape‘ continues this promising start and at least they now seem to be consistently producing new and more frequent music. On the strength of this new release a bright future lies ahead.

 

Written by Adrian Hextall

Ratings    Adrian    7/10

Black Rain Water Shape

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