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High Spirits: Safe On The Other Side
High Spirits - Safe On The Other Side Album Art

High Spirits: Safe On The Other Side

Hard Rock
4.0/5.0

High Spirits aka Christopher Black returns with his/their fifth album, Safe On The Other Side. Since 2009, High Spirits has always been a DIY project wherein Black (also know as Professor Black) writes and arranges every song (excepting the cover of the Europe song Memories), plays every instrument, then also produces and records in his home studio. He subcontracts the mixing and mastering to Unisound. When he performs live, then he recruits a band (likely from his native Chicago area).

High Spirits - Click For Larger Image

High Spirits: Christopher Black (second right)

Also, from the beginning, Black has referred to High Spirits music as "high energy rock." Nothing like defining your own brand or genre. Essentially, the sound is a hybrid of NWoBHM, classic hard rock, and guitar-driven garage rock. The riffs are sharp and assertive, the pace generally up beat and hasty, and then the songs finish with spirited (pun intended) guitar solos.


This formula is found rather comprehensively across the album with Til The End Of Time, Good Night, One Day Closer, or In The Moonlight. There's some slight exceptions. (There Will Be) Magic Tonight, the longest song here, has more steady and heavy pacing with more assertive vocals. But the best part might be the bass breakdown that arrives three-quarters in. Somewhat similar is Please Don't Leave Me Behind which plods along as the riffs wrangle with the rhythm section. Memories, the Europe cover, is faithful to the original version perhaps a bit faster and heavier.

All said, and simply, High Spirits' Safe On The Other Side is another platter of Christopher Black's guitar-driven, and self-described, high energy rock. The wheel has not been reinvented. If you dig the project, you will want the this album. Recommended. (You can purchase the album on compact disc, vinyl, or cassette at Bandcamp.)


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The Take Away

High Spirits' Safe On The Other Side is another platter of Christopher Black's guitar-driven, and self-described, high energy rock. The wheel has not been reinvented. If you dig the project, you will want the this album. Recommended.

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