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Black Swamp Water - Chapter One

Black Swamp Water
Chapter One
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 15 January 2017, 11:35 AM

BLACK SWAMP WATER are from Denmark but they don’t have a common European sound to them.  They eschew Melodic Death Metal, Death, and Black Metal that is so often the genres of choice for bands across the pond and instead focus on a Southern sound. If I had not known their origins, I would have immediately assumed they were from one of the southern states of America.  Much like their name would suggest, their music is down and dirty but full of southern fried hooks that pull you in.  Bjorn’s excellent vocals definitely have a southern edge to them; I would describe his vocal approach as a mix between Peter Dolving, formerly of THE HAUNTED, and the various frontmen that have been with CORROSION OF CONFORMITY.  He has a wonderful vocal presence and it shines through even when the band is playing some lighter sections that put him on focus, such as the intro to “Into The Fire.”

Thanks to the two guitarists, Jan Geert and Martin Lykke Hansen, the music is surprisingly diverse in style.  The title track sounds like the riffs were written by Kirk from CROWBAR; the twin guitar attack creates a super swampy, thick sound that gives the song a southern sludge fill.  Showing off their versatility, the next tack, “Life Is Pain” starts off with a bluesy feel before going into a more straight ahead metal song with a catchy riff that propels the song into the guitar solo that twists and turns, finding its way back into the song effortlessly.  Some of the solos are really emotional, especially on “Into The Fire.” Sometimes the band even channel BLACK SABBATH, like on “The Lonely Road,” where the riffs sound like they had been on an early SABBATH release.

Jeppe’s bass is deep and plows through the songs like a steamroller; during a guitar solo, the bass really helps add an extra layer to the guitar that’s holding down the rhythm.  Kim’s drums are very tight and he knows how to use the double bass when needed, or hit the snare faster when called for.  He holds up the band but never outshines anyone, instead focusing on clear and crisp drumming over technical displays. The album has a very balanced sound.  It has rockers, an interlude, couple of softer songs, and it’s a decent length that won’t wear out its welcome.  If you like dirty rock mixed with some old school metal and groove, then you can’t go wrong with this release.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Leave Nothing Behind
2. Harmless
3. World On Fire
4. Interlude
5. Into The Fire
6. Black Swamp Water
7. Life Is Pain
8. The Only Road
9. Efuckingnough
10. Run
11. Let It Go
Bjorn Bolling Nyholm – Vocals
Jan Geert – Guitars
Martin Lykke Hansen – Guitars
Jeppe Birch Friis - Bass
Kim Langkjaer Jensen - Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music


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