Afterglow

Studio Album by released in 2012

Afterglow review

A project that overcame the expectations

Black Country Communion is one of those super bands a single glance at whose lineup is enough to know you have to try their new album. Once vocalist Glen Hughes (Deep Purple), keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), Jason Bonham (Led Zepellin) and virtuosic solo-guitarist Joe Bonamassa, you can be sure to expect an extraordinary work from them. Well, this world rock best-of team did demonstrate an extraordinary work after releasing a self-titled album. Enviers and skeptics were quick to speak up sharing speculations that projects like that do not love long, that they have nothing to offer but big names, and that the band would soon be forgotten. Everything turned out … totally opposite. Black Country Communion seem to do everything not like it is done in the contemporary show business. The rockers managed to record three albums in the two years the band has existed. How can it be like that in the times when even the most famous, demanded and trendy performers make new records every two, three and even four years on average! Yet the most encouraging thing is that the band’s third offer, Afterglow, in terms of material and delivery is at least as good as the two before.

Afterglow is the greatest chemistry in the band

Afterglow starts as if there is no hurry and there will be nothing to surprise listeners. The first two tracks of the new Black Country Communion album are just solid hard rock songs breathing the seventies. We feel how great the chemistry is among the musicians, who know what and how they have to do to get the best result. However, when the time comes for Midnight Sun, and Confessor, we get to sense the might and the power of the ensemble. The pace grows swiftly, Hughes gets to more challenging vocal lines, while Joe and Derek take turns playing exquisite solos. Cry Freedom is a highlight featuring the vocal duo of Hughes and Bonamassa. In the middle of the set lies Afterglow, which, like a good film, kicks off moderately, intriguingly, delaying the best part. The quiet intro grows into substantial crushing hard rock with no drawbacks spotted. Speaking of slower material, there is a profound and touching ballad called The Circle. It is a spacious seven-minute piece with the leading part assigned to Hughes. It is no secret ballads are the best when you need to listen through all the hues and shades of the frontman’s singing.

They play classic hard rock, but have a unique style

Afterglow is good from the first to the very last track. It is a wonder how and when the musicians managed to record so much good material! And this is the sheer talent that did it. The ending of the record appears even stronger than the beginning, which rarely happens. Black Country Communion first offer a very tuneful and emotional song called The Giver, and then close the record flat out with a heavy and dynamic smasher Crawl. And now try to decide which the band’s three long players is the best. Probably, there is no need for a question like that. Black Country Communion were quick and clear to chose the style they wanted to play, and they have never walked out of the borders thereof. They play hard rock in is best form, which, on the one hand, has flawlessly performed and recorded parts, and on the other hand boasts that raw sounding it needs. Considering the status and level of the musicians gathered under the flag of this band, we have no right to argue that Afterglow is another walk down a beaten track. The music of these songs indeed call for direct associations with the music of the glorious past, but each of Black Country Communion members contributed something of his own to make this material truly original and a total must have for all fans of this music.