Review Summary: Crossfaded Rock
Ever since Black Rainbows barged into the Stoner Rock scene in 2007, fans have been beaten over the head with the bands heavy, riff-laden Hard Rock with no end in sight. Despite the band remaining comfortable genre wise and not making too many drastic changes to their sound, Black Rainbows have found a paradox that few artists can ever hope to even witness. That is the ability to do the same thing over and over again, while producing and receiving different results. Of course, if there was any band that would embody the concept of "insanity can bite my ass", it would be Black Rainbows. As the band charges straight into 2018, we see them release their 6th studio album, Pandaemonium
; a crazy, psychedelic, Stoner Rock calvacade featuring elements of the bands past and present.
In contrast to Black Rainbows' previous two albums, the band have taken to create longer tracks with heavier instrumental pieces. Big examples of this include 13th Step of the Pyramid
, which spends an entire minute and a half out of seven minutes riffing guitars with a piercing synth the likes of which can only be compared to those dental drills that make a squeal when they start drilling into your cavities. Another seven minute juggernaut is Grindstone
which features a much slower pace in comparison to other tracks as drums take center stage, defining the songs rhythm while vocals echo and envelop the tune with ethereal menace. One could identify Black Rainbows as this weird bastard child of Black Sabbath and Motorhead; combining the Doom-vocal elements of the former with the breakneck heavy-riff action of the latter. With this in mind, it is no wonder Black Rainbows appeals to fans of both elements without alienating one side or creating conflicting sounds that don't mesh well.
Of course the highlight of Black Rainbows is the howling vocals by Gabriele Fiori, which are given an echo effect so that they envelop the head of the listener were one to listen on headphones. Some of the best vocals can be found in tracks Sunrise
and I Just Wanna Fire
, in which the vocals crescendo to match the volume of the instruments. That isn't to say the guitar and drums aren't excellent as well. Even after more than a decade playing in this band, drummer Alberto Croce and bassist Giuseppe Guglielmino still give A+ quality instrumentation in the album.
The thing that truly sets Pandaemonium
apart from previous Black Rainbows releases is... nothing. It's still the same old heavy Rock from their past three albums with a little extra stuff added to spice things up. That is not a criticism, however. Truly, the best aspect of Black Rainbows are in how unwilling they are to change too much. They're not interested in experimenting with their material or delving into new genres. After all, this band was founded originally as a joke, and the band takes their material about as seriously as Logan Paul does with cultural sensitivity.
is Black Rainbows fucking about with music and having fun while doing it, and one can't help but get some fun out of their energy and attitude. After over a decade of playing music, Black Rainbows are still the same crazy bastards who started making Stoner Rock ballads as a joke, they just have a budget now; and nobody is complaining.