Though at first listen, it’s easy enough to just assume that Black River are like Turbonegro without the homoerotic laffs (not to mention the fact that there’s always going to be something, shall we say, “lost in translation” when a buncha Scandinavians play swampy punko-blues), when the band includes moonlighting members of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, and Neolithic, you owe it to them, just for lineage’s sake, to spin the platter a few more times. And y’know what? For a hybrid of Samhain/Danzig, Pantera’s third album, Alice in Chains, and the Cult, it ain’t half fucking bad. It’s strangely compelling listening when a bunch of black metal headcases let their inner Phil Lynott out, rocking out like they’re a tennis racket wielding teenager in front of a mirror, bashing out gin-soaked, boogie-down rawk’n’roll. I can pick out specific swipes from specific songs, but as this album was clearly meant as homage to youthful obsessions, it’s only fair to take it as such. In that respect, BlackNRoll is a successful love letter to the road of excess. And where does that lead again?
Armoury/Eagle Rock: www.eaglerockent.com