Saturday, May 28, 2022

Review: Black Swamp Water – Distant Thunder

Honestly, I could say if you are a fan of southern rock, just listen to the opening two tracks and that is all you will need to be convinced that this is a must hear album. From the tranquil sound of a slide on a steel string guitar to the backdrop of steady pouring rain and the thunder rolls in, you instantly feel like you’re in the swamplands of New Orleans, this leads into the epic-sized ‘Bitter Harvest’, and as first impressions go, it had me hooked like the first time I discovered metal.

Oozing with the sounds of Corrosion of Conformity meets Black Label Society and a bit of Whiskey Myers flair, this unlikely sound of the south couldn’t hail from much further away in Denmark. The opening two tracks aside, the rest of the Distant Thunder is far from filler and they hold their own with a monumental writing ability to match their well-crafted sound. The mellower sounds of ‘Live Your Darkness’ showcases a bittersweet melancholy, not without its memorable melodies and moments. Embracing their softer side shows the diversity and ability, again showing up with ‘The End’ proving they aren’t afraid to sit back from the in your face hard hitters they can bring, let alone the acoustic ‘You Disappear’. They build strong with tracks like ‘The High Road’ and ‘On My Own’, the common duel guitar touches lather down on a powerhouse of a rhythm section that swagger throughout with soaring vocals that never seem to waver.

Production wise, Distant Thunder nails a mix that never once drowns anyone out, drums are sitting heavy and really upfront delivering a foundation you could rest the world upon, the rest quite simply falls on top and matches it. Hard rock at its finest, this takes the American southern rock style and really shows us Europeans can match it. Talking of going hard, ‘Rise’ is an absolute banger filled with pinched harmonics and chugging riffs that will not as much have your foot tapping as it will have you headbanging and going through walls, and for one last push of adrenaline, it closes off the album with its pedal to the floor, start to finish this album just delivers. You may have a little wait until late August for Black Swamp Waters release, but you are in for a damn treat.

Ash Crowson
RAMzine Senior Contributor - Guitarist, photographer, geek, gamer, full on metalhead and allround barfly, if i'm not at work, a gig or studying for my degree, you'll find me at the bar! A fascination with second world war history and military aviation. All with a very dry humour to round me off!

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