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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Album Review: Black Space Riders-"Light is the New Black"

Black Space Riders-"Light is the New Black"

Band Members:
JE – vocals, guitars
SLI – guitar
SAQ – bass
CRIP – drums

Recorded in Oldenburg, Germany

Germany has long been a hotbed of metal music, both in delivering some of the heaviest, hottest, most hellacious bands to ever distribute metal masterpieces to the masses, and in a massive fan base of appreciative metal heads whose appetite for loud, raunchy, disturbing music has sustained heavy, raunchy acts both in the U.S. and in Deutschland, as well, I’m sure, in countries all across the European continent where pretty much all forms of metal can be heard oozing through the uninsulated crevices of closed club doors in the dark, cold hours, or blasting into the murky night sky straight up from jam packed auditoriums in waves and crescendos of massive and familiar distortion.

This wonderful, fertile environment from where a heavy, dark side of music springs forth, a band by the name of Black Space Riders has emerged, laying down a sound filled with the telltale signs of distortion, volume, fuzz, up tempo, down tempo, blazing solos, driving, thumping bass and rhythm, and amplified attitude, combined often with forays into tripping, primal psychedelic interludes, all progressing forward in an unrelenting onslaught of emotional experience and heavy vibe.

But it doesn’t end there. The thing that most bands of ability are able to achieve, whether it’s easy or not I can’t say, is the music, the sound, the energy. There are hundreds of motivated rockers out there creating and playing thousands of alluring pieces that slide into genres of doom, sludge, fuzz, psychedelic, stoner, and other niches created for their unique deliveries of metal music, and Black Space Riders are among the very best of those. They are adept and athletic in the songs they play, emanating power in the handling of tautly tuned cables and slender wooden cudgels, crafting a sound that is unique not in the sense of high art, but in the coming together of the myriad pieces of what these four German gentlemen have produced with vision, energy, enthusiasm, and, if these songs are any indication, joy. In other words, they have created songs that work well, that sound clean and tight while being fuzzed and raucous, that you know are special because they sound like what you’ve been waiting to hear.

And still there’s more. Adding to the sound, the wonderfully crafted and delivered instrumental pieces are vocals that don’t just fit, don’t just work, but embellish and transcend the music, flavoring the songs with an additional dispatch of a satisfactory experience.

To top it all off are the songs themselves, their craft and structure, their rare and exciting capsules of near perfection. Plainly said, they are wonderful melodies filled with riffs, solos, and hooks, with occasional trips into psychedelic interludes, or forays of hard driving sections of unique delivery. These melodies are fine and unique, the type of songs that make an album and its creator memorable for decades due to the fact that they are what it’s all about, they deliver the experience we anticipate when first playing the record, they move you by reaching that primal core again and again.

Black Space Riders deliver with “Light is the New Black”, their second album, the first part of that beautiful experience of stoner/fuzz/psychedelic rock by delivering some of the best crafted songs around, songs that allow the listener to deliver the final piece of the experience, which is the enjoyment and relishment of this wonderful collection of songs.


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