Black Water Rising
To make matters even worse, every no-talent metal band and their rabidly delusional fans have sent us links, CDs and money in a misguided effort to plug their particularly “unappreciated” band that purportedly will save the segment from obscurity if only “the man” would play them on radio.
I have important news for all of you: virtually all of these bands suck worse than Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting”. As a public service I will not even mention the names of any of these horrors for fear that you may actually listen to them and be forced to ram a screwdriver into your ears.
However, much like finding a diamond ring in the pile of steaming crap your neighbor’s dog left in your yard, there was one new band out there that I believe is worthy of consideration of greatness and review on RUFKM.NET.
The Band: Black Water Rising.
The first thing I noticed when I reached the professional website of Black Water Rising (by professional website I mean a MySpace page) was that they have a particularly good and eye-catching logo. A cool skull on a black background encircled with a spade symbol. It certainly gets your attention and is appropriate foreshadowing of things to come.
“Not bad.” I thought “These guys may just have potential.”
Suddenly the first free streaming track loaded up and I braced myself for the insanity and assorted tone-deaf hi-jinks that I had endured as a result of the past 28 links that I were sent too me by deranged and possibly hearing-impaired fans.
The song, “Brother Go On” was instantly recognizable, but unique in its own right. A driving guitar riff overlaid with a melody bereft of any Pro-Tools overabundance and filled with a rawness that is so sorely lacking in American metal today. A song full of gritty vocals and guitar work reminiscent of early Black Label Society (or Alice In Chains if they would have naturally evolved from the grunge scene) and Clutch without all of the nonsensical lyrics.
At first listen, I thought that Black Water Rising must have been a product of the southern rock genre. After listening to all the tracks available it was clear that they were a little darker and quite a bit more melodic coupled with a much fuller sound than typical southern rock.
The best tracks available are “No Halos”, “Black Bleeds Through”, “Living Proof” and of course “Brother Go On”.
“No Halos” could very easily be a successful single on modern rock radio, with a catchy chorus, driving bass line and timely lyrics questioning the hypocrisy of those in power ruling by religion (I assume so anyways). The song easily conjures the image of politicians today that proclaim “God Bless America” at the end of every speech while leaving unsaid the logical corollary “…and nobody else.” It’s got a great tempo that seems a little slow at times but it really seems to work with the tone of the song.
The band appears to hail from Brooklyn, NY and if you think this means they are undoubtedly another KISS clone, you’re wrong. The music isn’t the hard party rock that you’d expect from a band from Brooklyn, but rather best described as an intelligent social commentary with tightly constructed guitar-heavy overtones entirely appropriate for the subject matter expressed in the lyrics. Plus, as an added bonus, it rocks.
Another thing that you’ll notice is that the bass work on the album is also incredibly good, it’s not in your face, but rather in the background driving infectious grooves much like a metronome and only occasionally coming to the surface to your delight in such tracks as “The Mirror” and “Rise”.
Overall, it’s a great band and a tremendous debut effort much more worthy of praise than any metal band on the radio today.
More importantly, there’s proof that the American metal scene is not dead, it just moved to Myspace.