Review Summary: Black Stone Cherry is back full-force with more soulful vocals and firey guitars in their new release: Folklore and Superstition.
One day, while searching the internet for some decent music, I stumbled across a song called "Blind Man" by Black Stone Cherry. I'd never heard of the band before, but the instant the song started, I knew I had struck gold. In only 3:40 I was overwhelmed by an awesome, crushing guitar tone and one of the best vocalists I had ever heard. I decided to look up their new album and see what other people were saying about it. Surprisingly very few people have even heard of them, let alone bothered to write a review. So the heck with it; I'll write a review.
Blind Man (4.5/5)
This song starts off with a nasty biting guitar tone backed by a simple tom beat on the drums. After a few seconds the second guitar comes in, smoothing out the edgy tones of the lead. The drums explode into an awesome rhythm, matching the guitars almost note for note. Then, Chris Robertson really brings the song to life with his incredible raspy vocal tones. "Blind Man" also sports a great chorus and a killer solo. If there was ever a good way to start an album, this is it.
Please Come in (4/5)
This song's opening guitar is obviously a tribute to BSC's southern rock roots, sporting a nice heavy groove that continues on through the song. The lyrics aren’t especially intriguing, but they have a nice feel and gives the song a lighter touch. Not my favorite, but definitely something to listen to.
Reverend Wrinkle (4.5/5)
Another song, based off of an excellent guitar groove. However, this song is also backed by a great trebly lead guitar if you listen closely. There's also a short interlude that packs in some cool bass licks alongside the drums. I especially like the chorus which is later brought to life by a wicked solo.
Although similar to the previous songs on this album, "Soulcreek" adds in something extra, the powerful choir-backed vocals on the chorus. The addition of a choir seems to emphasize on Robertson's excellent singing. The solo that kicks in after about two minutes flows seamlessly with the rest of the song, and leads right back into the chorus. This is easily the most flowing song on the album.
Things My Father Said (5/5)
When the song starts off with a beautiful piano piece, violin and soft but bright acoustic guitar, one thing becomes obviously apparent; this is going to be a sad song. The lyrics of course confirm this, telling the story of the tragic death of a father and the son who continues his legacy. The whole song is a very powerful experience is you decide to listen to it, which I would recommend that you do, immediately.
The Bitter End (5/5)
The album picks back up again after the slowdown of "Things My Father Said" with "The Bitter End." This song takes off with a heavy palm-muted riff and an excellent drum roll. Fred Young really shows off his talent as a drummer throughout this song, as does Chris and Ben Wells with their guitar playing. The chorus opener sounds perfect, as does the fire-breathing solo. A powerful effort by BSC, "The Bitter End" is definitely my favorite song on this album.
Long Sleeves (4.5/5)
The exotic lead tones of the guitar is the beginning sets the stage for another awesome song. The lyrics are dark and moody and the chorus is rather depressing: "Don't ask why, I've seen children die, I've seen men take their lives, I've seen women cry..." The solo doesn’t exactly fit the mood with its ludicrous sound and funky beat. Altogether though, it’s a decent song.
Peace Is Free (5/5)
Another excellent song, similar to "Things My Father Said" but without the sorrowful lyrics. The chorus also features the choir vocals that were heard earlier in "Soulcreek" that add a very pleasing touch to the song. My favorite line in the album is in this song "Don’t you bring your sadness down on me, peace is free." This is one of the albums most inspiring tracks.
Devil's Queen (4/5)
One of the things that makes this song interesting is the keyboard that comes in loud and clear throughout the first two minutes. This song's fast pace, and uplifting beat make it a great song to listen to anytime, any place. Also to note "Devil's Queen" sports a dual solo that flickers between two snarling guitars that drag it out even as the song begins to fade.
The Key (4/5)
The intro is interesting enough featuring a unique guitar sound produced by, turning down one of the pickup's volume to 0 and switching between the two Humbuckers to create a choppy tone. The lyrics throughout are creepy and provoking. The interlude is surrounded by a strange mood, emphasized by several strange musical noises emanating from the background. The chorus could be more unique but it’s still a great song.
This song is less concentrated on the guitar and more on Chris's vocals. One of the best parts of "You" is the emotionally fueled chorus. Fred Young once again, unleashes his skill throughout the song with great rolls and flowing beats. Not as good as "Peace Is Free" but still one of my favorites.
As you may have noticed, this is the lowest rated song on the album. Its good, but considering the rest of the album, its not especially unique. The epic buildup to the chorus seems awkward considering that the chorus itself is anything but epic. Also, the guitar seems out of place throughout most of the song.
Ghost of Floyd Collins (5/5)
As the album approaches its end, BSC decides to make a memorable finish. This song tells the unfortunate tale of Floyd Collins who died trapped in an underground cave in Kentucky. It seems that BSC is trying to honor their home-state history. If this was their intention, they did an excellent job. The riffs are well planned and they intertwine beautifully with the lyrics. "The Ghost of Floyd Collins," is an excellent finisher to a classic album.
In conclusion, this was my favorite album of the year, and definitely worth purchasing if you have some extra money to spend. I recommend getting the special edition, which features the bonus tracks "Junkman", "Stranger", and "Bulldozer."