Parade of Lights
The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Kentucky hard rock outfit Black Stone Cherry hit hard with their Roadrunner debut in 2006 and surely something big is on the cards for this outstanding rock band that peddles a unique blend of blues infused riff heavy southern rock. Coming off the back of an inspired support slot with Whitesnake and Def Leppard, ‘Folklore and Superstition’ could end up being a surprise end of summer hit for Roadrunner as they look for other rock acts on their roster to step up to the plate and follow the resurgent success of Nickelback.
‘Folklore and Superstition’ pretty much follows where the debut left off. Workaholic Bob Marlette handles production and mixing duties and the band are left to get on with what they do best, delivering impassioned high-octane rock and roll with conviction and a high level of musicianship. Vocalist Chris Robertson as ever excels, whether it is on the ballsy opener ‘Blind Man’, the impassioned ballad ‘Things My Father Said’ or the up-tempo ‘The Bitter End’; is there a better hard rock vocalist today.
‘Peace Is Free’ is similar to the kind of material familiar to those who purchased the Saving Abel’ album; modern Skynrd and ‘Devils Queen’ continues the trend complete with blazing Hammond and slide guitar. ‘The Key’ is perhaps the most modern sounding song on the album with its distorted vocals and down-tuned riffs yet it all remains familiarly melodic. It is this ability to mix old school with new either across the album or within each song that sets Black Stone Cherry apart from the crowd, underlining a uniqueness absent from hard rock in recent years. I can’t think of one hard rock band that could get away with combining hard rock with reggae in the same song-as they do on ‘Sunrise’ and carry it off with aplomb. Black Stone Cherry’s debut was a worthy introduction to the band, but ‘Folklore and Superstition’ is not only better it is quite possibly the most important hard rock album of 2008