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Black Swan: Shake The World
Black Swan - Shake The World Album Art Work

Black Swan: Shake The World

Melodic Heavy Metal Rock

The title "supergroup" gets bandied about perhaps too often. Nevertheless, Black Swan brings together some significant players from the realms of melodic hard rock and metal. The band features Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group), guitarist Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), bassist Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, The End Machine, ex-Dokken), and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big). Supported by Frontiers Music, Black Swan offers their debut album, Shake The World.

Black Swan - Click For Larger Image

Black Swan

Considering the quartets notable talent and vast experience, you can deduce their sound: melodic hard rock with some heavy metal edge, then wrapped in catchy AOR accessibility. The songs are long on rock rhythm and groove, strong riffs, blazing solos, and McAuley's assertive and strong, yet melodic and clean, vocal presence. While all the players are quite talented, I'd like to plug just one. Reb Beach is an exceptional guitarist, one that doesn't always get the recognition he deserves. It's great to hear him in a principal lead guitar role. Enjoy his epic solos.

So let's listen to a few Black Swan tunes. With The Rock That Rolled Away and Shake The World, you'll find some fast rockers undergirded by some fine rock groove. Alternatively, something like John Came Marching sounds more like straight up heavy metal. Some quite catchy AOR melodic metal rock arrives with Immortal Souls, She's On To Us, and Long Road To Nowhere, where the latter two have strong Beach guitar starts. Make It There provides the listener with a proper rising hard rock ballad, complete with required soaring guitar solo.

But the most interesting and epic song here is the rising rock anthem Divided/United. In the first half, Divided, the song turns largely on McAuley's voice with piano, before adding the rhythm section and guitar line. In the second part, United, the song rips into some heavy, guitar-driven, melodic hard rock, only to end with a fade out to silence. Lyrically, I can't help to wonder if the song isn't a commentary on American culture and politics. Hmm.

All said, Black Swan's Shake The World is a solid and entertaining album of metal-infused, AOR crafted, melodic hard rock. And quite recommended.

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The Bottom Line

Black Swan's Shake The World is a solid and entertaining album of metal-infused, AOR crafted, melodic hard rock. And quite recommended.

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