Black Country Communion - Afterglow


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Bearing warnings of the end, Afterglow is Black Country Communion's third album and it follows the same pattern as the first two albums, which is almost exclusively rock songs with very few ballads, guitarist Joe Bonamassa getting very little lead vocal time, and keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian being mostly anonymous. This record is actually better for Sherinian than the previous two; here he plays a lot of parts akin to the strings in several Led Zeppelin songs to great effect, but it remains a mystery why they have a full-time keyboard player in the band, especially one of the best in the business, given how little prominent keyboards there are in most of the songs. With tracks like This Is Your Time (even with its out-of-place soft chorus) the disc contains some of their their heaviest, hardest grooving tracks yet, but it also sounds closer to a regular Glenn Hughes solo album than they have before. After three albums and a live album in just three years it was perhaps inevitable that the well might shows a few signs of running slightly dry, at least in the short term, and the boring Midnight Sun and Dandelion are the first indicators of that. But only the first, so there's still plenty to like for fans of BCC, particularly Hughes, and certainly some find additions to the live set (This Is Your Time in particular is one of their best songs), with an abundance of solos and engaging moments to be had, but some of it now feels like it's been done already and perhaps, as Hughes has intimated in some interviews, BCC has run its creative course for the time being - going out for now on a high. Maybe not, time will tell.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2012, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quick.Play Reviews, , ,

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