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Black Rose UK – WTF

Black Rose UK
by Metal Wim at 04 July 2022, 10:12 PM

BLACK ROSE UK have been around for a very long time. They were formed in 1980. The first time I encountered them was on the Neat Records EP “One Take No Dubs” from 1982. They even released two full length albums. The first one from 1984, “Boys Will Be Boys”, whilst the second saw the light of day in 1987, “Walk It How You Talk It”. Unfortunately, they disbanded in 1989. But, some 21 years later they were asked to perform at the 2011 Cradle Of Rock Festival, so they reformed, with three of the original members participating. Only bassist Kiko Rivers can be considered a new face.

Since then, they have enlightened us with another full-length record, which was released in 2012 and was called “Cure for Your Disease”. Thankfully, BLACK ROSE UK decided they weren’t finished yet, so now they are giving us the “WTF” treatment, and yes, it does stand for the exact words you are expecting, and after listening to it for a number of times I can only conclude that I concur with the title. WTF? I don’t think BLACK ROSE UK  has ever sounded so heavy, so coordinated, extremely canid and especially surprisingly coherent.

It doesn’t matter which song you are playing on your stereo, soundbar, streaming service or YouTube channel, this is bloody good. Like I said, the lyrics are extremely candid, the riffs are absolutely heavy and the music in general is as heavy as F*CK! Yes, you can hear they stem from the eighties, but they have been able to roll with the times and give the songs a sound that is both steeped in history as well as very contemporary. I know, the youngsters will preach that this is too old fashioned, whilst the NWOBHM purists will think this much to modern sounding to be considered a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal album. I really couldn’t give a SH*T how you classify this, I just find this a very uplifting album.

The rather fast rhythms, the very strong songs and the crisp and clear production make this into a real gem. But, there are times that BLACK ROSE UK does sound like someone else. Just listen to “Pain”, and you will have to admit that this sounds very much like one of the heavier songs of STRYPER. Not only because of the riffs, but also due to the way the refrain is sung. The question is if it is a bothering experience. The answer is a resounding NO, as this only enhances to prove how good this album is. WTF!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Crazy Mental Bad
2. Devils Candy
3. WTF
4. Pain
5. Innocence
6. Detonator
7. Under My Skin
8. Twist The Knife
9. Tattoos & Lipstick
10. Never Take Me Alive
11. Broken
12. Armageddon
Steve Bardsley - vocals, guitars
Kenny Nicholson - guitars
Kiko Rivers - bass
Paul Fowler - drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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