Monday 5 June 2023

Black Rainbows - Superskull (Album Review)

Release Date: June 09th 2023. Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Superskull: Tracklisting

Apocalypse March

Superhero Dopeproof

Children Of Fire And Sacrifices

Cosmic Ride Of The Crystal Skull

The Pilgrim Son

Till The Outerspace

Lone Wolf

King Snake

Desert Sun

All The Chaos In Mine


Fire In The Sky


Gabriele Fiori - Vocals/Guitars

Filippo Ragazzoni - Drums

Edorado Mancini - Bass


Superskull is the new album from Italian Psych Stoner/Fuzz Rock legends Black Rainbows and it's easily one of their most entertaining and perhaps vital albums to date. The album is packed full of exciting Fuzz based Psych Stoner Rock grooves. The Cosmic feel of the last few albums is ever present but the band do bring a more subdued style of Spaced Out Rock for the more mellower parts of the album. However, when the time calls for Black Rainbows to burst out a THICK HEAVY COSMIC GROOVE then they appear suddenly like magic.

Superskull has a "BACK TO BASICS" approach with almost every part of the album. As the sound is more stripped back and has that classic Seventies Hard Rock feel but still remaining an essential Black Rainbows album. 

The opening two songs of Apocalypse March and Superhero Dopeproof has a buoyant Garage Rock appeal that reminds me of MC5 at times. The confident levels of aggressive Fuzz and catchy modern day Psychedelic flashes has served Black Rainbows amazingly well in the past and it works here. Both songs allow the band to try different creative themes for their music. The lyrics have a sense of rebellion to them with a fantastical outlook appearing within the lyrics. Lead vocalist Gabe is in inspired form and sounds amazing here. 

There's some KICK-ASS singalong moments to this album and this appears early on within these two tracks with the classic Stoner grooves allowing Black Rainbows to play a more vital style of music for the remainder of the album.

Black Rainbows do go all out for Superskull. As the album lasts for about an hour or so across twelve tracks and the band cover a lot of creative ground within the Stoner Rock/Metal grooves that appear on the album. With many different styles of Fuzz Rock, Psych Rock and Cosmic Rock having the right balance of Classic Hard Rock themes and Modern Day WEEDIAN grooves for a more adventurous sound especially on tracks such as: Children Of Fire And Sacrifices, Cosmic Ride Of The Crystal Skull, Till The OuterSpace, Lone Wulf, Desert Sun, Megalomania and Fire In The Sky just being my favourite parts of the album.

I would love to do an in-depth track by track review of Superskull. However, there's too many great songs to actually cover. If you're a fan of this legendary band then you know what to expect and they deliver on all fronts with sublime grooves and catchy passionate vocals to match. 

Superskull can be quite dark and moody within the later stages of the album but Black Rainbows keep things moving forward with highly addictive and superbly melodic extended guitar jams which is a trademark of the band's sound. 

The record also employs heavy use of Psychedelic Noises and Ambient Sounds to give Black Rainbows a more cinematic and progressive feel compared to their recent albums. With moments of Heavy Psychedelic Doom sounds being used more and more on the second half of the album. Superskull does feel that Black Rainbows are reinventing themselves for the better with a classic storytelling aspect beginning to appear within their lyrics and the great use of Ambient and Heavy Psychedelic sounds for an album that feels like a force of nature at times.

Superskull is enhanced by first rate production values which is hardly surprising since Gabe's very own highly regarded record label Heavy Psych Sounds is releasing this bad-boy. So be prepared for an aggressively LOUD album with fantastic amounts of high pitched FUZZ to make your ears bleed with serious intent..

I ranked Black Rainbows last album Cosmic Ritual Supertrip as my favourite album of theirs back in 2020. However, I've changed my mind yet again. As Superskull is without doubt Black Rainbow's finest work to date and could become one of the most definitive Stoner Rock/Metal albums of the year. 

This is another Album Of The Year contender from one of the true legends of the Psychedelic Stoner Metal underground scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage for the promo.

Superskull will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from Friday June 09th 2023.


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