Black Road – Black Road (EP)
Release Date: October 6, 2017
Label: DHU Records
About a year ago a Chicago based band called Black Road made their way across my desk. As with any band, I gave Black Road a good listen. Honestly, I was less than impressed but at the same time I heard something in there. Their vocalist just seemed to lack any confidence and the music seemed to lack any sincerity and “oomph.” I figured that would be the last I would hear of them. Little did I know that Black Road would once again be making their way into my line of site but this time… this time things were different.
As the opening notes of “From Hell” oozed from my speakers, right off the bat it was damn near impossible to think of Black Sabbath. At 8 minutes long I found myself completely losing myself in the ethereal and hauntingly beautiful voice of lead vocalist Suzi (yup, just Suzi). Was this the same singer that when I last heard her seemed to lack confidence and sounded so and unsure of herself? This Suzi sounded strong, competent, and completely in her element.
“Bloody Mary” is hands down my favorite song on the album. From her epic “YOW!” which opens the song, this song really had me grooving in my chair. It also had me closing my eyes only to find myself transported into this kind of dream state as the song took on this hauntingly gentle interlude only to be awakened by a scream and the facemelting guitar work of Tim (yup, just Tim). I also noticed a hint of Danzig influence in Suzi’s vocal styling which works awesomely when delivered by a female voice.
“Morte” is very reminiscent of something I could imagine being played as an interlude piece on Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare album/tour. As effective as this song was and as powerfully subtle as it was, “Morte Coda” (which is pretty much the same thing with the full band playing it) just seemed to kind of break the overall flow. I would have preferred them not do this at all and to just leave the subtle piece to live and breathe on its own.
The album closer “Black Rose” is a 10 minute journey that left me absolutely mesmerized and feeling like I needed to go in for a 2nd round. Wow, just wow. Was this really the same band I wrote off a year ago? Actually, no, it wasn’t the same band. This was a band whose sound has obviously grown, matured, and still shows signs of being capable of so much more. This is a very exciting thing to hear in a young band.
The thing with all these “Sabbath Worship” bands is that some of them do it really well putting their own little ingredient in the mix and others do it really badly. Black Road completely took me by surprise and reminded me that bands can grow and turn into something that even I didn’t think was possible. Black Road has definitely turned into a swan with this EP and I can’t wait to see where they take me from here on out.
To pick up the latest EP from Black Road, head over to https://blackroadchicago.bandcamp.com/album/black-road-ep