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|Black Acid Souls - Shadow Walker (2015) Album Review|| |
Black Acid Souls - Shadow Walker (2015)
Unsigned -- Running Time - 51:03
Since receiving this album to review, kindly supplied to me by the band, I have been listening to it and mulling it over a fair bit. 'Shadow Walker' is the second album from Northamptonshire based Black Acid Souls and follows the debut 'Deadly Sins' which was released at the tail end of 2012 (and I reviewed in 2013 after witnessing the band live at 'Rock & Metal Circus Festival') 'Deadly Sins' was an album full of great tracks but it didn't really capture the heaviness and aggression that Black Acid Souls produce on stage. This time around uber producer Chris Tsangarides has made up for that, giving 'Shadow Walker' the sound it deserves, however, the songs themselves are a little more difficult to get into! Now that doesn't mean they are bad, they just aren't as immediate and, depending on when I listen, find a couple of them a little lackadaisical and have needed to give this album more time than I usually would to sink in.
I mention this because on the first couple of spins I thought I had it sussed and then I listened again and heard something completely different, which is not what normally happens when I'm reviewing. Songs, such as opener 'Pain' and 'Mirrors Past' turned from songs that felt complete into ones that felt slightly disjointed and then back again and I'm still struggling with that a further ten to fifteen listens later! I really have no idea what's causing me to think this way though as there are many riffs, solos and performances that are top notch. It's possibly vocalist Flakey's delivery, which is unusual (I also mentioned that in my review of 'Deadly Sins') but not, by any means unlikeable and his growl or less melodic voice, when he uses it, is excellent! It could also be the arrangements with some of the time changes just feeling a little out of place and newish drummer 'Hoff', although he has stacks of potential' does sound a little off on a couple of occasions! It would be interesting to hear how he recorded the drums for the album!
Even though I have said all of this, I'm also ready to accept and admit that this actually sounds a lot more like the Black Acid Souls I wanted to hear on the first album so you can perhaps see why I'm sounding a little puzzled! The aforementioned 'Pain' starts with a haunting and dark piano section and the song itself reminds me of Ozzy Osbourne's solo output with some heavier sections, 'Rising Death' is also a good song but the verse is uncomfortably close to Sabbath's 'Symptom Of The Universe' which doesn't help! 'Fates Game' is an excellent track and showcases a band that is capable of hitting great heights! Many of the songs here have a mid tempo stomp to them and I like that a lot because it's the sort of stuff I love to headbang to. In fact overall there is a healthy dose of doomish laden Sabbath mixed with the more melodic and slower side of Testament!
As I'm writing this it's just occurred to me that Black Acid Souls are just so good in a live setting that perhaps trying to recreate that on an album leaves them feeling a little flat. I've seen hundreds of bands over the years and some work better in the studio whilst others don't feel quite as comfortable and need to be out on the road ripping it up every night! It's just a thought but, for differing reasons, neither of their albums have really shown the band at their best!
I may be sounding unduly cruel, all the more difficult as I've met, spoken to and interviewed Black Acid Souls and they really are lovely guys but I have to say what I feel and I hope they understand that. This is still a very good album and there is a possibility that I'll play it in a couple of weeks and everything will click, but at the moment there is a certain something missing that isn't missing when they play live and I just cannot put my finger on what it is!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:
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