Album review: BLACK BLITZ – Louder Than Thunder

Blitz Music [Released 13.12.13]

In their own words, Black Blitz is ‘a high voltage riff thunderstorm from Munich Germany’. Formed three years ago, they are a hard rock outfit with AC/DC riffs and faux Guns ‘n’ Roses style hooks, who will strike an obvious chord with hard rock and metal fans in their native Germany and beyond. What they lack is their own DNA, or a unique selling point that only better songs can give them.

‘Louder Than Thunder’ is their second album and from the opening staccato riff driven ‘Drinking Dynamite’ they impressively combine guitar driven hard rock with rock and roll, but it’s a big opening they struggle to emulate on the rest of the album.

‘Going Against the Grain’ is another AC/DC influenced riff rocker, but in truth Thomas Bauer’s vocals don’t quite have the range to match his own steely riffs. The result is that the band is a little one dimensional, with the tight rhythm section of pile driving drummer Thomas Pribbenow and Christian Reiter’s unobtrusive bass establishing a rock hard groove that doesn’t really go anywhere.

‘Keep ‘Em Coming’ sounds retro to the point of being an 80’s big hair metal band, while the title track is pedestrian, and struggles with an unmemorable hook that is saved by a brief but impressive shred from Bauer.

The problem with ‘Louder Than Thunder’ is that while it certainly rocks hard enough, the material is too derivative and could do with a better vocal. Hard rock and metal is a crowded market place and this album must be regarded as a stepping stone rather than the finished article.

The title track for example, doesn’t quite live up to its title, while ‘The Call Of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is a decent stab at hard rock and the closest they get to an anthem. Thomas Bauer’s slashed riffs give ‘Daily Dose’ some real bite, but he’s in fire fighting mode on ‘Fire & Forget’, which is only saved by his nifty guitar work.

By the closing cliché ridden dirge of ‘Satan Is Waitin’ they are in danger of recycling Metal’s worst lyrical excesses: ‘Her body got me hypnotized, I can’t help, I can’t defy, She’s a sinner, she’s an angel, That sold her soul to the devil’.

Black Blitz rock hard enough, but they need stronger material and a better vocal to cross over their riff heavy rock to a bigger audience. ***

Review by Pete Feenstra

 


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