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Blessed Black - La Brea Award winner

Blessed Black
La Brea
by Laura Glover at 07 March 2021, 2:31 AM

Amidst 2020, a year of chaos for the world; pandemics, lockdowns, and loss of many people. Cincinnati, Ohio doom band, BLESSED BLACK, were also pondering the loss of such amenities as live music. As music soothes the soul, and we all deeply felt the loss of the ability to be together and at a show. They decided to take the free time that was thrust upon them and create something. “La Brea” is an EP coming in at just over six minutes in length, and is a mashup of genres. BLESSED BLACK has a full album release planned for spring, so they opted to keep “La Brea” EP length.

This is a teaser, an artistic culmination of 2020, and a way to show the fans that they thought of and missed us too while we were mourning the loss of getting to be in a crowd at some epic show somewhere. This is a sweet reminder that music is so deeply an energy stemming from both the creators of the music and the fans. BLESSED BLACK is known for blending genres and smashing musical barriers. They are listed as Doom Metal; but cross genres to heavy metal, post punk, grunge, with doom elements.

Four friends got together in October of 2017, not entirely serious at the time, started pounding out some music. What started as a “garage band” quickly became a shared passion between the quartet of friends. Pushing them to succeed and keep perfecting and honing their sound. When the world went quiet in 2020, BLESSED BLACK did not. This was a time they felt like they nailed their sound, marking this positive change and growth by releasing “La Brea”.

La Brea” - Heavy doom elements open up this track, and the guitar is absolutely fantastic. This isn’t a heavy song, and I can definitely hear a serious cross of metal and rock. Which seems to work well for this song. The vocals are clean vocals, yet completely seasons the instrumentals. At the 3:10 mark to about 3:45 is a guitar solo that I’m madly in love with. This solo has some delicious blues undertones to it. All in all, this song somehow takes all the elements it has and blends them extremely well.

I am not sure I have ever heard BLESSED BLACK before myself, to be honest. However, I am very excited now to hear their upcoming full-length album now. This is a truly talented and artistic band. Definitely on the softer side of metal, at least for this song, and for many that is their preference. I would absolutely recommend checking this EP, “La Brea”, out for a listen.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. La Brea
Joshua Murphy – Vocals, Guitars
Chris Emerson – Guitars, Vocals (Backing)
Ray Bates – Drums
Brad Bellamy – Bass, Vocals (Backing)
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 23 March 2023

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