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Blackrain: Untamed
Blackrain - Untamed Album Art

Blackrain: Untamed

Melodic Metal Sleaze Rock
3.0/5.0

France's Blackrain has been circling the hard rock and metal universe since 2003, starting as a heavy power metal band. At some point, the band shifted genre gears by going in the direction of melodic metal rock of the classic sleaze variety. This move has, apparently, got them more success across the European theater. To date the band has dropped six studio album, none of which I've heard. Untamed is their seventh recording and features vocalist and sound engineer Hannes Braun from Kissin' Dynamite on production. The two bands have toured together on several occasions.

Blackrain Click For Larger Image

Blackrain

Considering Blackrain and Untamed for review, I should cut to the chase. It's already been established that Blackrain plays melodic metal with solid hard rock groove. But, for this listener, this is a case were a division can be made between the quality of the song arrangements and the vocals.

I found the former to be spot on for the genre and quite entertaining: sharp riffs, great rock groove, solid song melody, and catchy choruses. Notably, Max 2's guitar solos are fired up and thrilling throughout. (Kissin' Dynamite guitarist Jim Muller provides a solo on Neon Drift.) The songs Untamed, All The Darkness, and Neon Drift are a few examples of solid, genre defining, song writing.



However, to the latter, the vocals, Swan Hellion has a raw and raspy style that sways between punkish and screamo, and he's almost impossible to understand. I found myself grimacing at most every song. With my second spin of Untamed, I stopped listening in the middle of the fifth song, Demon. I had given up, and I don't do that very often when reviewing an album.

All said, I found Blackrain's sleaze influenced melodic metal rock well-crafted but struggled with listening because of the unpleasant vocals. Nevertheless, check out the band. You may have a different opinion.



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The Take Away

I found Blackrain's sleaze influenced melodic metal rock well-crafted but struggled with listening because of the unpleasant vocals. Nevertheless, check out the band. You may have a different opinion.

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