Friday, July 26, 2013

Master Charger-Unity In Black

Black Vulture Records

From the looks of it "Unity In Black" was originally released at the tail end of 2011. The thing is it was apparently a self-release as well which is something to keep in mind should you ever stumbled upon a copy for sale or trade. Why keep that in mind at all you might ask? Well, up front it looks as if the band, which hails from Nottingham, England, has signed on with the Swedish record label Black Vulture simply as a means to offer greater distribution for this 10-track LP. Otherwise it wasn't like the band needed a record label in their corner when they self-released their latest LP as "Unity In Black" sounds like a professionally produced album from a band that could easily be on a major label. So, where to begin? How about back at the beginning kids? Formed in 2009, and featuring the current line-up of  J.H.P. (John Hoskison-Parkin) on lead vocals and guitars, bassist Kevin Wain and drummer John Kirk, the band issued not only their debut album, "Southbound N' Supercharged", later that same year on Alphaline Records but also the six-track album, "Live At Unit 5". A 3-track EP by the name of "Violent Wand" was released in 2010 which brings us to the present and "Unity In Black". In it's present setting, which may or may not be somewhat mind-altering, "Unity In Black" opens with "Super Death Charged" and just steamrolls it's way over everything thereafter. Serving as their latest listening experience, and yes, this 10-track LP is an "experience" if you catch my drift, the 3rd full-length album from Master Charger should really do wonders to put this English band on everyone's radar. Even if it does come across as somewhat crushing in it's delivery it's still an album that could leave you in a haze. If you don't know what I'm talking about kids then let's just say that this whole album ends up in smoke by the time it finishes. And, seeing as it closes with the eight minute plus "Journey Through All Tomorrows" it's every bit the definition of stoner/doom rock. On paper (or rolling paper if you will) the band's latest release is a "fusion of late 1960's psychedelic rock and the rock / heavy metal acts of the 1970's" as well as mix of "punk attitude and working class frustration". Translated that means you've got yourself another promising band that combines everything and anything to their basic sound which, while it would normally be one big twisted mess of noise, makes "Unity In Black" a pretty cool listen all around. Taken apart there is everything from the doom of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, the punk of  The Dead Boys, the stoner grooves of Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu and Queens Of The Stone Age and even some semi-grunge by way of Soundgarden and The Melvins. So, when it's all said and done, and the hazy cloud of smoke that would inevitably fill the room of some listeners to this album has dissipated, "Unity In Black" comes across as a heavy and heavenly mastered mix of psychedelic rock and roll, doom metal and stone cold grooves which beckons the listener to hit replay time and time again. In other words it's an album that should be in every stoner rock and doom metal fans music collection/personal library.

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