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Black Svan – 16 Minutes

Black Svan
16 Minutes
by Tom Colyer at 16 November 2014, 9:23 AM

I quite often get odd looks when I refer to types of metal music that are “easy listening,” but I'm sure there are many that will agree with me that there just are some bands that are so non-offensive that you can have them playing in the background and barely even register it.  This is by no means a bad thing though, as involving as the worlds of Black and Death Metal can be, it is sometimes nice to be able to just listen to an album without wanting to tear off all of your skin and slap someone in the face with it.
BLACK SVAN fit the the bill nicely and their debut album “16 Minutes” is a wonderful journey through the nicer realms of modern Metal music.  Far from skin ripping, blood worshipping devilry, the album is a brilliantly written and somewhat nostalgic offering that ticks pretty much all of the boxes.  They have been around since 2009 and in the last five years they have clearly been busy crafting their sound.

The music crosses many genres and sounds which gives the album a very fresh feel but also helps it to stay true to the roots and influences that are so clear in the bands vision.  Opening up with title track “16 Minutes,” you are instantly given a good impression of what to expect for the next three quarters of an hour.  Kevin Caffrey has a brilliant voice and I can't help but hear big influences from bands like SOIL in there.  A lot of people jump on the Nu-Metal hatred bandwagon and I'm sure they feel the same way I feel about Emo but one thing is very different.  At least some Nu-Metal vocalists had balls.  Kevin's voice has all the best elements of this age rolling around in it and it suits this kind of softer Metal perfectly.  The medley of styles doesn't end here though and you can clearly hear ALICE IN CHAINS in there as well as a plethora of the old classics.  Big catchy guitar riffs grind through the choruses, only to give way to stompy rhythms in the verses and bridges.  The song writing and structure on the album is very well done and it is clear that each song was crafted with care and attention.

Of course it's not all perfect and there are a few moments where everything seems to get a little sloppy.  Strangely it is in these softer moments where the production seems a little out of place and the overall sound feels diluted.  I can ignore these moments of weakness however as this is a fantastically made album and it takes me right back to the dance floor of my local Metal club at the age of fourteen, too drunk to talk and too high on music to give a fuck.

4 Star Rating

1. 16 Minutes
2. Bleed Me Dry
3. Dream Forever
4. Immortal
5. No More
6. Retribution
7. Rule The World
8. S.T.D
9. Sickness
10. Steal Your Crown
Kevin Caffrey – Vocals
Jagger Murray – Lead Guitar
Mo Clifford – Rhythm Guitar
Kenneth Bell – Bass
Joey Afonso - Drums
Record Label: M&O Music


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