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Captain Black Beard - Struck by Lightning Award winner

Captain Black Beard
Struck by Lightning
by Emmalyn Campbell at 07 June 2018, 5:15 AM

CAPTAIN BLACK BEARD is a Melodic Rock band from Stockholm, Sweden. Since 2009, the group has released four albums, including 2018’s “Struck By Lightning,” which contains 10 tracks.

All The Pain” opens with atmospheric keyboards before vocalist Liv Hansson takes control in the first verse with a commanding presence. Her power continues in the chorus, full of harmony with subtle, screechy guitar in the background. Christian Ek shows his prowess as well with a solo that strikes like lightning and rolls like thunder, a worthy first track that lives up to the album’s name. “Perfect Little Clue” is even better, with a riff that you could pull from an old DOKKEN record, Hansson’s praise-worthy wailing, and a chorus that makes me want to grab a mic and try myself. “Believer” is quite honestly one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time. It takes the heaviness of the first two tracks down a notch but loses none of the intensity. There’s gorgeous acoustic guitar and hooks in the verses and chorus that are to die for, and it took a lot of willpower for me not to play this over and over, so I could actually hear the rest of the album.

Picture Life” comes next, and Hansson’s chipper vocals complement a heavy baseline. The use of keyboards in the song is also fantastic, and track after track is simply delivering. “Gotta Go” begins rather mysteriously, a dazzling combination of keyboards and guitar that transports me to a lush forest in a fantasy realm. The song keeps the same magic with beautiful harmonies and a ripping guitar solo. “Out Of Control” is darker yet no less full of energy. The verses are epic and perfectly build to the chorus. Comparatively, the song reminds me the most of the late 80s, but the group is not afraid to display their own unique sound.

Dead End Street” is short and sweet, while title track “Struck By Lightning” opens with the sound of thunder, and the verses sort of remind me of an old SHY song, the chorus otherworldly. Hansson continues to show an impressive vocal range, which is utilized beautifully in an album with such diversity of sound. “Nobody Like You” almost has a country swagger in the riff and complementary bassline, but it’s another example of the best Melodic Rock has to offer. “Straight Outta Hell” is worthy closing track, with dark, thick riffs, tons of emotion, and a pleasing key change.

As a whole, “Struck By Lightning” is one of the best Melodic Rock albums I have ever listened to. Yes, it’s an homage to classic Hard Rock acts of the 80s, but it’s so much more. If you want heavy riffs and inventive guitar solos, it has them. If you want melody, it has that in spades. And finally, and this is the most important part, if you want an album you can listen to without the “ugh, skip this song” reaction, you’ve found it.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. All The Pain
2. Perfect Little Clue
3. Believer
4. Picture Life
5. Gotta Go
6. Out Of Control
7. Dead End Street
8. Struck By Lightning
9. Nobody Like You
10. Straight Outta Hell
Liv Hansson – Vocals
Robert Majd – Bass
Christian Ek – Guitar
Vinnie Stromberg – Drums
Record Label: Melodic Rock Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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