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The Black Rook - The Black Rook

The Black Rook
The Black Rook
by Matt Johnson at 26 September 2014, 9:03 PM

There can be only one Ronnie James Dio, but following closely behind in his footsteps are Flavio Senra and Rubens Lessa, the dynamic Brazilian duo of THE BLACK ROOK, blasting Heavy Metal all the way from Rio de Janeiro. It's easy to forget that the Metal God is no longer with us because the vocals throughout this album harken closely to that signature sound, and if you don't get chills from the high notes, check your pulse. You will be blown away! It's also easy to compare the music to the legends that came before and defined an entire genre. This is Heavy Metal, not for the faint of heart!

From the slow, melodic progressions to the blasting up-tempo portions, the songs on this album encompass the gamut of techniques and variety. Personally, I hear influences of DIO and IRON MAIDEN, some nuances reminiscent of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and even the dueling power vocals common with ICED EARTH. The scream at 3:44 on "Madman in Chains" had me flashing the horns! I was even pleasantly surprised to hear the light use of a synth keyboard. There are moments throughout each song that get the feet tapping and the head banging.

I was overcome by the imagery inspired by this album. The lyrics are well thought-out and though the first two songs have a focus on chess-related themes, including the title track, the remainder of songs on the album go on to explore more traditional themes in Heavy Metal songwriting. The musical direction THE BLACK ROOK has taken for this album has me spellbound. There is something for almost every Metal fan, young or old!

Produced by Celo Oliveira, and released on April 25th, 2014, the classic Heavy Metal sound meets the modern world and fuse nicely. The sound is crisp and clear, and it seems that no corners were cut during production. Just 100%, Grade A Heavy Metal without the worry of shoddy production casting any type of distraction. If this album is a sign of things to come, the world is in for some good things courtesy of THE BLACK ROOK!

4 Star Rating

1. Checkmate
2. The Black Rook
3. Unfortunate
4. Forget my name
5. Heart of Steel
6. Rats
7. I am
8. Temptation (will bring me down)
9. Madman in Chains
10. Dark Disease
Flavio Senra - Vocals
Rubens Lessa - Guitar
Celo Oliveira - Guest Drums
Record Label: Independent


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