Playground Music, 2005

REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


Building on two of the more obvious and surefire components of hard rock, Norwegian hard rockers Mohammed rehash the plummeting chord strums of Black Sabbath and Kiss and fuse them with early 1980s thrash scene riffing (think Metallica) to come up with their own bastard offspring from those bands' glory years -- Blackbomber.

Making no bones about snagging the ten-second signature riff found on Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," the lead song on Blackbomber, "1973," aptly sets the tone for everything else found on their debut with the vocal proclamation that they are "dancing with the demons tonight." Vocally, Blackbomber is essentially all aggro, with enough guitar hooks and drum fills to differentiate itself from any comparisons to the death metal scene commonly spawned and thus associated with the Scandic reaches.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening with a guitar wah-wah that makes me think of the Kiss disco years (i.e. "I Was Made for Loving You"), the track "Obey The Law" settles into a funk concoction that is pure Hendrix, Iommi and Hammett -- resulting in a vintage sound combining all those guitarists' signature multiple time stamps. The formula itself is smooth enough to confirm the combined talent of the members in this band; never mind the fact that I can't find a mention of these guys' names on the CD jacket or any website. A band overlooking such facts on an album release, no less a debut, is maddening if not downright dubious.

So, whomever the vocalist is refuses to be outdone by his axe compadres as he voice-synths an approach to the intro of "Silver Lining," yielding a Godfather-like narration which abruptly succumbs to a tumultuous battery of chord riffing and thrash breaks. The result of this approach reveals possibly what I am making out to be one of my favorite angst lines in recent memory with the screech, "I'm attached to yooouuuuu / Like a glacier to the sun!" Great narration to this track mixed to a series of varying time signatures makes "Silver Lining" the intriguing listening opportunity on Blackbomber -- hands down.

Of course this award holds until one hears the track "(Sweet) Sixteen" as the vocal fury is caressed with backing "sweet, sweet's" found throughout the choruses. No ballad here -- just pure finesse to what would otherwise be a song surely confused with plenty of other simplified hard-rocking song structures.

Blackbomber strikes that figurative chord resonating with me right out of the gates and doesn't let go in revealing very few if any dead spots. Forget the fact that these moose rockers have effectively vaulted themselves to the top of the Norwegian rock throne with Gluecifer's recent disbanding and current maps finding Turbonegro lost in their ways. I decidedly find it only appropriate that the rest of the world be wary in heeding the call of who else lurks in the musical shadows -- not only above the Arctic Circle but below it as well.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Playground Music, and is used for informational purposes only.