Rating:
6.0
Black River - Black 'N' Roll
20 July 2009


01. Barf Bag
02. Isabel
03. Lucky In Hell
04. Black 'N' Roll
05. Breaking The Wall
06. Jumping Quenny Flash
07. Too Far Away
08. Loaded Weapon
09. Morphine
10. Like A Bitch
11. Young 'N' Drunk
12. Free Man


Yes, Motörhead is very cool. We all knew it before, we don't need every black metal musician reminding us.

So you've probably already noticed this trend lately; every black metal musician needs a Motörhead tribute band, or change their band's style to that of Motörhead. We have Chrome Division, I and new Darkthrone being the biggest examples. In the words of Chrome Division; "Here comes another one." Now members of Behemoth, Vesania and Dimmu Borgir are beginning to realize crude rock n' roll gets you laid a lot quicker than black metal.

Trying to conjure up a creative description for this band is really difficult, seeing as it's basically a Chrome Division clone; hell, even Taff sounds a hell of a lot like Eddie Guz in the vocal delivery. That being said, there's a certain charm to Black River that differs from Chrome Division. Chrome Division are polished, and pristine, Black River are more rough-edged (more appropriate when trying to achieve that Motorhead sound I suppose).

Despite a step toward a slightly rawer sound, (and a few post-grunge tendencies from time to time) the similarities are just too many to make this anything but a disappointingly predictable ride. Blues influenced guitars, chugging bass, deep, gravelly vocals, imagery regarding Jack Daniels, motorcycles, being a sinner, and I can only assume they talk about sluts at some point or another. Does this all sound familiar? If the answer is no, you might actually be thoroughly amused by this. The songs are actually quite a bit of fun, and if you're specifically looking for a safe, familiar sound without any surprises whatsoever, then this comes highly recommended. Or perhaps you just don't have the patience to wait for a third Chrome Division instalment. On the other hand, if Chrome Division is enough Chrome Division for you, there's really no point in checking this one out.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 2
Production: 7


Band profile: Black River
Album: Black 'N' Roll


 



Written on 27.07.2010 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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Daggon - 28.07.2010 at 09:49  
Is this a Chrome Division review? Sooo, I think I got the point about this band, just another a Motörhead-esque band I suppose...
Chidder - 28.07.2010 at 17:00  
It has a great line-up though: Taff from Rootwater, Orion from Behemoth, Daray from Vader and Dimmu... Still, from all the "Motörhead-esque bands" I prefer Titus' Tommy Gun. Pure fun
Troy Killjoy - 02.08.2010 at 01:56  
Stellar line-up. Shit music.

Originality a 2? Ouch. Pretty accurate though...
RavenKing - 02.08.2010 at 02:17  
I don't understand this trend about making the same kind of crappy stuff Motorhead already rehearse over and over for decades. From my point of view, Motorhead have never been any good, anyway.
Honestly, I hope this trend will die quickly because I don't want to see some Black Metal bands I enjoy turning into shitty Motorhead clones.

As for originality, you can't have any by copying Motorhead, especially as Motorhead have no originality and their stuff sounds all the same.
Doc Godin - 02.08.2010 at 07:14  
Written by RavenKing on 02.08.2010 at 02:17

I don't understand this trend about making the same kind of crappy stuff Motorhead already rehearse over and over for decades. From my point of view, Motorhead have never been any good, anyway.
Honestly, I hope this trend will die quickly because I don't want to see some Black Metal bands I enjoy turning into shitty Motorhead clones.

As for originality, you can't have any by copying Motorhead, especially as Motorhead have no originality and their stuff sounds all the same.

Admittedly, Motorhead doesn't have many leaps from album-to-album, but to say they have zero originality is just...ignorant. Overkill was an incredibly influential album (that being the most noteworthy, influence wise.) Motorhead have a slower evolution than most bands, but they do make gradual changes from album to album.

And it's not that the music is particularly bad when it comes to this album, but rather it's all been done...a lot.
RavenKing - 03.08.2010 at 03:43  
Written by Doc Godin on 02.08.2010 at 07:14

Admittedly, Motorhead doesn't have many leaps from album-to-album, but to say they have zero originality is just...ignorant. Overkill was an incredibly influential album (that being the most noteworthy, influence wise.) Motorhead have a slower evolution than most bands, but they do make gradual changes from album to album.


I should have explained it better. What I meant is Motorhead's music could be seen as original in the early 80s but originality gets pretty much non-existent after so many years of doing the same thing over and over. Lack of originality is not all bad, however, and this matter comes back to my "there's two sides to a coin" analogy.

First side: A band that is not original is very predictable after a while, so it will not please those who seem to always seek for something new and original. Also, as the stuff on many albums sounds alike, people who don't like one album will probably not like any. If the stuff was more different, then some people would pick up some albums and ignore the others. With a band that repeats itself a lot, they will probably ignore the entire discography or only pick up the album they judge as the best because "if you heard one album you heard them all". Unless you really like the style very much and dig it totally, there's no interest in getting many albums who have very little difference from each other. However, if you really dig the style, that's when the other side of the coin comes into play.

Second side: A band that repeats itself a lot and doesn't change much will hardly deceive the fans who really dig their style. The fans know what they can expect and that's what they get. Chances are much lower the band will suddenly start to suck and people normally won't draw a line between the old and the new, like we so often see. And the band will not see its fanbase divided in two camps fighting each other. As long as you still like the style and your tastes don't change, you will most likely enjoy every new album.
The lack of originality can become a strenght, in some way. The only problem I see with this, however, is if all bands were as conservative as Motorhead or AC/DC, music would not evolve. And there's a danger that even some of their passionate fans loose interest (get bored) in the long run (it can take years), after hearing the same kind of stuff too many times.

Finally, I won't deny the influence Motorhead had on metal. It's simply undeniable. That being said, I don't see the point in bands trying to copy Motorhead. How can I say? Motorhead still being Motorhead and keeping their old style is correct. But new and young bands doing the same is not right, imo.
It's kinda like being 'lost in time', if you know what I mean. Or perhaps I have this feeling because I can't help it but to think traditional heavy metal is past its prime nowadays and has been completely overshadowed by more specialized metal genres.
Troy Killjoy - 04.08.2010 at 05:19  
Written by RavenKing on 03.08.2010 at 03:43

I don't see the point in bands trying to copy Motorhead. How can I say? Motorhead still being Motorhead and keeping their old style is correct. But new and young bands doing the same is not right, imo.

Being a huge fan of old school death and thrash metal, I'm more than open to modern bands bringing back the sound that "started it all". Not just paying homage, but adding to a sound that was in the process of creation more than 20 years ago...

Don't get me wrong, carbon copies of Metallica and Megadeth and Autopsy and Atheist don't necessarily rev my engine, but a lot of the "modern old school thrash/death metal" bands that are materializing left-right-and-center these days are a welcome addition to the scene in my opinion.

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