Tuesday 7 April 2015

Blackout - 'Blackout' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 31/03/2015
Label: Riding Easy Records

‘Blackout’ CD//DD//LP tracklisting:

1). Lost
2). Blackout
3). Nightmare
4). Sprites
5). Cross
6). Tannered
7). Human

Blackout is:

Christian Gordy | Guitar, vocals
Taryn Waldman | Drums
Justin Sherell | Bass


When the new Blackout record hit my mailbox the first thing that comes to my mind was that Sludgelord had sent a Scorpions cover band to review, then I saw the record-sleeve I was convinced it was another Magic Numbers in the pipe, so thank God it wasn’t.  Instead I was served another crushing release from Riding Easy Records. A delightful piece of doom-perfection.

It’s not an easy record to listen to at first because it demands the listener’s attention, but following several spins you will be rewarded.  Expect at least 5 or 6 times before it opens up. The record which at first was a little bit anonymous, unfolds itself to be a beautiful meal served with crushing riffs, a spicy bass sound and delightfully furious vocals.

Kicking off with the first song ‘Lost’, it begins with its self-sustained oscillation, sounding like a beeswarm, feedback going between fuzzy and screechy until the abolishing riff commences.  The track still feels groovy and intimate in the same way, but the breakdown in the middle of the song is a high point, speeding up the song to the end.

Blackout follows up with the angry riff and furious vocals to ‘Blackout’ and the epic enchanting lyrics of “You say you’re blacked out”. There is much to enjoy as it gives the listener the picture of a mad man in a psychic ward howling the same line again and again.  As the medics kick in and leave a broken man behind, the song ensues into another world with a much slower riff.

The well-soaked grooves in the third track sound very much in the same vein as Torche. ‘Nightmare’ sounds fresh and Gordy’s acrobatic wailing is a little bit on the spooky side. I especially like the way Blackout fuses these heavy-riff moments into an experimental psychedelic melting pot.  ‘Human’, at nearly 7 minute, is full blown eargasm, with its epic Black Sabbath riff opening things up, with a nice long intro of two chords leading us into the main riff. I just adored the way the song is built around the riff and how it’s structured with both heaviness and serious mid-tempo thunder.

In my humble opinion I really would like the band to go further with songs in the same vein as ‘Human’ on forthcoming records because it’s a good mix of what I love about the band. It has heavy moments mixed with psychedelia and for me this approach adds another dimension to their sound.  Overall though, this is another quality release from Blackout and Riding Easy records.   

Words by: Sven-Åke Alveving

‘Blackout’ is available now here

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