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Black River

Black N Roll

Review by Gary Hill

This band is sort of a powerhouse supergroup. The lineup is Orion (Behemoth, Vesania), Daray (Dimmu Borgir), Taff (Rootwater), Kay (ex-Neolithic) and Art (Soulburners). The music is at times closer to the stoner rock sound with big dosages of Clutch and Black Sabbath. At other points it’s got more in common with Danzig and the Cult. Still other parts make me think of Godsmack. All in all, though, it’s a great album. There should definitely be parental warnings about the lyrics, though.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Barf Bag

Here’s a cut that’s driven with some scorching riffing. It’s got a lot in common with Clutch and there’s plenty of Black Sabbath on hand here, too. Still, it’s got other sounds in play, particularly on the vocals. The guitar solo on this is quite tasty.

They don’t reinvent the wheel here, but this feels a bit meaner. It’s another scorching piece of stoner metal. The lyrics seem really angry and the vocals move towards death later in the song.
Lucky In Hell
While this isn’t drastically different than the tracks we’ve heard so far, the uber heavy riff feels a bit more like something from Sleep, but there’s a lot more energy here than you would expect to find on a track from that band.
Black 'N' Roll
This one feels more punk in a lot of ways. In fact, on a different album this would fit as a punk rock song.
Breaking The Wall
They take us closer to the rest of the album with this rocker.
Too Far Away
I hear some Godsmack on this smoker. It’s not totally different than the rest of the music, but somehow really excels. I can also make out a little bit of The Cult here and some Danzig. The guitar solo section is quite cool.
Loaded Weapon
This is another that has some more interesting textures. In fact, there’s a section that serves as the final movement of the piece that border progressive rock, particularly in its vocal arrangement.
A mellower piece, this doesn’t come into territory that would be even close to balladic, but it’s more melodic. It’s another track that reminds me a lot of Danzig.
Like A B**ch
Closer to the rest of the music on the CD, this is also rather like The Cult.
Young 'N' Drunk
More melodic, this is another that borders on progressive rock in some ways. It’s a nice change of pace.
Free Man
Another screamer, this is far more energized than the track that preceded it. Still, it’s got some hints of progressive rock built into it at times.
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