Sunday 8 October 2017

Black Road - S/T (EP Review)

Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: DHU Records/BloodRock Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Black Road – S/T – Tracklisting

1.From Hell 08:01
2.Bloody Mary 04:16
3.Morte 03:54
4.Morte (coda) 03:00
5.Red 05:41
6.Black Rose 10:22


Vocals/Lyrics/Piano: Suzi Uzi
Guitars: Tim M.
Bass: Casey Papp
Drums: Robert Gonzales
Mellotron [Track 4 "Morte (coda)"]: Tony Reed (Mos Generator)


Stoner/Doom Rockers Black Road debut EP is superbly written and well focused record that focuses mostly on lead singer Suzi Uzi's powerful soulful blues based vocals. The remainder of the band provide excellent riffs for Suzi's vocals to heard by the Doom/Stoner Rock masses. This is an expertly produced record and one that plays to Black Road's strengths.

Tim on guitars duties provides some epic Thin Lizzy style guitars on the opening track – From Hell. Which runs for about 8 minutes or so. The song should suffer from an identity crisis as the band play many different elements of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal in this song. Though to Black Road's credit they create a song that's full of different grooves such as Stoner, Doom, Psych, Classic Rock, Blues Rock and even a twinge of Folk Rock. The song is very gloomy and perhaps is influenced mostly by the sounds of 70s Stadium Rock.

Second track – Bloody Mary – operates with a more straight forward doom and gloom atmosphere with the band channelling bands such as Black Sabbath and Fleetwood Mac. The sound is quite progressive at times and Suzi's classy vocals make you fall under their undeniable hypnotic spell.

Third track – Morte – is perhaps the weakest track on the EP. It doesn't really go anywhere. It's a slowly played piano piece that almost wipes out the good work the band started with the excellent two opening tracks. I give the band credit for creating something atmospheric and quite gloomy in places.

Fourth track – Morte (Coda) – is an almost exact copy of the previous track but somehow this version actually works better and allows Black Road to get themselves back in the game. Groovy played and creepy guitars keep you interested until the very end.

The final two tracks – Red and Black Rose – allows Black Road to focus on their primary Doom/Stoner Rock sound. There's a delicious FUZZ based guitar riff lurking on Red that almost manage to put Suzi's vocals out of the spotlight. I said almost....

The final track – Black Rose – is perhaps the standout song here. As it's beautifully played in two parts or chapters. The first part is a semi-acoustic guitar driven sound that shows you a different side to Black Road. Tender and quite emotional in places. The second part sees Black Road perform a heavier Doom/Stoner Rock sound as the EP ends on a high. Very psychedelic and occult rock especially with the lyrics and vocals.

Despite one “so-so” song, Black Road have released a haunting debut EP and one that will see their profile rise dramatically within the Doom/Stoner Rock community.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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