With change comes change. I think somebody famous said that. It appears that Germany's The New Black felt a change was necessary for their fourth album, A Monster's Life. They dropped self-production and hit the studio with notable producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pyramaze, Beyond Twilight, et al). They've also tossed the skull and flames artwork that graced the first three albums. They've exchanged for something that looks like Konami video game packaging. The next question is obvious.
Has their sound changed? Not really, I least I don't think so. But, the last time album I listened to was 2011's Better In Black. Five years is a long time for recollection, especially when I get new music dropped on my desk every day. Suffice to say, as I did back then, that The New Black is an European twist on American heavy rock and metal. It's hybrid of classic heavy and power metal doped up with roaring d-tuned riffs, somewhat muted vocals battling with that riffage, and blistering guitar solos, and then wrapped up a powerful rock groove. Then the band finds time drop in some catchy lyrical and compositional tricks to give you a savory taste of AOR accessibility. The Beer of No Return, Long Time Coming, and Dead In The Water, come to mind here. Then something like Better comes across as power metal, thanks to the speed, but the groove is also self-evident. The odd man out is Send In the Clowns. Call it, at the start, a heavy rock ballad with lighter electric guitar and vocals, only to turn into a stomping, riffage sharp, anthem. All in all, with A Monster's Life, The New Black is sounding fine and staying on course with their heavy rock groove infused metal. Recommended.
All in all, with A Monster's Life, The New Black is sounding fine and staying on course with their heavy rock groove infused metal. Recommended.
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