Black Hole Raven– S/T
(CMP – 2016)
An album that starts with a two-and-a-half-minute track and ends on one lasting twelve has to get you wondering what's coming next.
German threesome Black Hole Raven hit the throttle with a hard rock bite in opener 'No Devils' before giving us hint with eight minute 'Gone Away'. Unusually this is the only other epic on the album with a platter of average length but far above average tracks for follow for at least the next seven. Niftily alternating between old fashioned heavy rock with hard-arsed grind and some prime quality prog matter, this band's debut album is fun if not borrowed.
Vocalist/guitarist/keysman Ralli Rock conducts the music along a razory husk of a voice that sometimes sounds like it was recorded in the back of a garage due to occasionally wavering production but with the Purple-esque seventies drive of Down The Drain' and the riff laden blues guitar of 'Song For The Lost' to back it with himself, the raw, archaic output plays sweet on my ears. 'Lil' Soul Blues' opens with a very Jon Lord sounding sustained keyboard before some tasty guitar ripples into the opening verse.
'The Dirt', 'Don't Cry' and 'Do Not Love Me' rock away in the maintained yesterday fashion and sound fantastically proficient in their art, sitting around sultry ballad 'Heart For Sale' seems not to lessen the overall momentum. Closing number 'Welcome' plays a classic trick on the listener by providing a punchy number with several minutes of distorted sounds and directionless instrumental ramblings afterwards, making up the extensive length playing duration. Not their best moment of the album, BHR nonetheless serve up a whopper with this offering.
Ralli, accompanied by bandmates Kai Neufang (drums) and Molly Hautz (bass) make for a s**t-scary blues rock machine and despite over-borrowing from their influences in spots, sell themselves very well on this first outing.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Led Zeppelin, Free, Rainbow & Mott The Hoople.