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Blackrain - Untamed

Blackrain
Untamed
by Jamie Hollis at 16 January 2023, 4:03 AM

These Frenchies know how to rock! With an album that boasts twelve awesome tracks, BLACKRAIN have blessed the world with their creativity and musicianship. One simply must marvel at the fruits of their labour. The title track “Untamed” is an excellent way to set the tone of the album. All four of the guys are perfectly in sync with each other and certainly have some deep-rooted chemistry. It’s worth mentioning Max on the lead guitar who just adds little fills and licks at all the right spaces in the music.

There’s something particularly commercial about the start of “Kiss The Sky” as we’re hit with this big keyboard sound. Don’t worry though, it’s all done perfectly, and the song then changes gear into another all-out banger! Swan’s vocals are particularly extravagant through this track as he incorporates a lot of harmonies and epic high up melodies. He’s got an excellent voice for sure. “Dawn Of Hell” hits us with this cool guitar effect in the intro which makes numerous appearances throughout the rest of the song along with more use of keyboards. This track has a hint of BON JOVI in some sections with a blend of BLACK SWAN. It’s satisfyingly heavy while not going overboard which is often a difficult balance to strike but BLACKRAIN have clearly mastered it.

“All The Darkness” provides us with a well deserved break in the energy as Matthieu opens up with a solid bassline. This song is smothered in guitar and vocal overlays which make for a great vibe when combined with the top notch production. A sort of ballad combined with power metal choruses, “All The Darkness” is a fantastic piece of song writing! The next couple of tracks bring us back up to speed and then we arrive at “Set The World On Fire” which comes in with a Middle Eastern motif and a dose of anger as Swan adopts a very gritty vocal tone. There’s a short break in the middle of the song which took me back to RUSH’s song “Chain Lightning” with that beautifully imperfect guitar line which is followed up with a sensational guitar solo. This song has been sympathetically pieced together and is not obnoxious in any way. It’s just a great statement of what the band can do when they’re not making chart topping singles.

“The End” forms the perfect album closer. A soothing acoustic guitar intro walks us down a smooth path into this glorious piece. Maybe this track would bore some people with its simplicity or it’s thumping chorus, but it didn’t need to be anything more than that. Plus, of course, there’s the obvious irony that the end of the album is marked with a track of the same name. This is an explicit example of how well this album flows. Every track is exactly where it needs to be and there’s enough variety to keep your ears pricked up at all times.

This is possibly the easiest summary I’ll ever write; BLACKRAIN are an excellent band, and “Untamed” is a great album. Enough said.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Untamed
2. Kiss The Sky
3. Dawn Of Hell
4. All The Darkness
5. Demon
6. Summer Jesus
7. Set The World On Fire
8. Neon Drift
9. Blade Of Love
10. Raise Your Glass
11. Shut Down
12. The End
Lineup:
Swan Hellion – Vocals, Guitar
Max 2 – Lead Guitar
Matthieu de la Roche – Bass
Frank F – Drums
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records
     


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