Dear visitors, I have to admit it is not easy to write a review of an album you've been waiting for 8 years, after a few days of purchase. The enthusiastic staff is skyrocketing; But this enthusiasm could also take me to write a review based on an opinion purely dominated utter euphoria, caused by the novelty and surprise. I will focus, however, to give an opinion as objectively as possible, even if between the lines will be inevitable notice the personal opinion of a fan like all of you. After listening to the first-ever but I can safely say that each of the 15 tracks that make up "Black Ice" has something special, as I'll explain in more detail later.
Why 8 years of waiting for "Black Ice"?
This is probably the question that will be or has been placed for the first band, in most of the interviews. Rightly, I dare say. A slight frustration was taking place in the soul of all fans. No information, interviews and statements sometimes a little inconsistent until last February, until Cliff Williams announced his entry into the band's studio, scheduled for March 1. The news was made once again with due caution, to avoid yet another disappointment. But as a result of several radio interviews with Brian, which confirmed what rinbalzava for days on the web, you are able to finally pull out a sigh of relief. The location for the recordings (duration 7 weeks) was for the second time Wharehouse Studios in Vancouver, Canada, in which the earlier work was also created, "Stiff Upper Lip". But why all this time? To release an album really special, according to initial answers. Lately, however, revealed further details. Brian always said that in recent years, after 2003, had reached the Angus and Malcolm in their London studio to sketch the first few songs, for a period of about 6 weeks. So on other occasions, where it has been honed songwriting from time to time. In contrast to the findings in 2005, Johnson has not participated in the drafting of the texts but only to their "development", the final phase of work. All this time also to wait for the complete healing of bassist Cliff Williams, operated tendons of his left arm, about 10 months ago. We also recall that other months have been spent on the achievements of the DVD "Family Jewels" and "Plug Me In" and their promotion.
I flatly refused to listen to any preview (except of course the two official singles Rock n Roll Train and War Machine), more or less legal publications appeared on the Internet. I wanted to wait to have the CD in my hands, insert it in the CD player of my system, dim the lights, and press the Play button to enjoy it in all its sound quality. For once the face of the mp3 files so comfortable.
Let's start then.
Even though I have heard at least 100 times since its publication, and I could safely skip it out of curiosity, does however suffer a certain effect for the umpteenth occasion Rock'n'Roll Train, the first track of the album. I am reminded of his first listen, that morning of August 28, and the excitement of hearing new notes played by the band you've always loved. In the playback of those simple chords as intro, the present and massive choruses to "Highway to Hell", the unmistakable drum groove, touch bass perfectly equalized and a voice surprisingly well managed, modulated with the right power and effectiveness throughout the song goes fast, but in the meantime I wonder what incuriositio feel at the end of 4 minutes and 21 seconds.
Here it comes .. The focus on what I'm about to hear is the highest level. Part of a battery in 4/4, which marks the beginning of Skies on fire. Come clear of the open chords, followed by a more somber tone change, introducing segmented verse, which ends returning to the opening riff. Everything is normal in short, in pure AC / DC, except for one thing. If we immediately noticed a 'voice setting more modulated and managed Rock'n'Roll Train, in this second song we hear from Brian shades reach very high that many, including myself, would certainly not have expected (or perhaps, after the exciting performance of the Classic Rock Cares tour last year ...). Still fascinated by listening, there's the hammer that open 6 Big Jack. Here is the snare, that the way to a up-tempo riffs that, in short, might as well get into the hits of the band. With all the spontaneity foot begins to beat, continuing throughout the duration of 'cheerful song. Are the masters of the pulse low and guessed spirited chorus, accompanied by the equally effective melody played by Angus, on the right channel.
Comes Anything Goes. Perhaps the most anticipated and unusual song on the disc, as it has been described by the reviews in preview, labeled as "almost pop." A verse that refers to the attack slightly of "Born in the USA" by Springsteen, composes a song that has something carefree, flowing light, with lots of bells in the background in some fragments. Undoubtedly something "new" for the band, but this time has the great ability to be recognized even in something "different" through his unique style.
Now it is the turn of the "already known" War Machine. The atmosphere is immediately darker and darker than the previous calendar song. In the same incisive paste the chorus sang, but nothing particularly special about this passage which, although relatively short and with some vague resemblance to "givin the dog a bone" (from Back in Black), quietly flowing throughout its duration. Smash N Grab: The main riff, with a sort of slide in the background, fits with the melody of the vocals in the chorus, making me think of "Locked and Loaded", song by Jackyl (album: Cut the Crap), which saw the participation Brian Johnson in 1997. I would like to point out once again the work of Cliff Williams, who always knows the right spot to place those notes that can give every time an effective gradient to the song, while managing to hold the shot and the groove of the piece, in perfect harmony with the guitars of brothers Young. The agreements of Angus and phrasing to "Stiff Upper Lip" introduce another gem of the disc: Spoiling for a fight. I would not have anything to add to the description already made for the excellent Big Jack, except that the two songs could have a big impact live. The rhythm and choruses to sing till you drop there, we just hope to hear them live soon. I forgot: after hearing the maracas (also used in "Jailbreak") under the choruses?
After the opening riff of the two guitars is curious to hear the attack that marks the beginning of hopping Wheels: Angus and Phil accompany Brian for the first beat, while Cliff and Malcolm come later, filling and compacting the entire verse that ends in another chorus to the limits of the vocal cords. The tones are rather more relaxed with Decibel, 9th track of the album. To make you understand a riff along the lines of lackluster "Come and get it" (from Stiff Upper Lip), which is immediately removed from memory as soon as you udiscono the beautiful chord progressions, combined at the end of the second stanza of the exciting vibrated Angus.
The guitar arpeggio introduces probably the second most anticipated song of the album. In the main riff of Stormy May Day in fact we can hear the "new" introduction Wall AC / DC: a curious but effective slide guitar. Classic intro punctuated by the hi-hat, and then the attack. The stainless-quarters of Phil Rudd, flanked in this passage from the button below, gives a remarkable "pat" to the song, which ends in less than 3 minutes, too bad.
The rhythmic She likes rock'n'roll then returns the disk on the most cheerful tones. Spontaneous the comparison to "Big Balls" (from Dirty deeds done dirt cheap) for the choirs and only at the end of the refrain. In my opinion, another gem of the disc. Maybe a little 'trivial and "already felt" (a joke!) Agreements introduction to the lilting Moneymade, but very effective change in accompaniment to the first stanza, apt in this case. Another refrain that remains without a doubt in the mind even after listening. Very beautiful the final stages, with the choirs in the foreground, and then finish in fade out.
The next Rock n Roll Dream instead deserves a few more words. We are faced with a particular song that, recalling Led Zeppelin, sees Brian Johnson pledged to bring out for the umpteenth time on their skills melodic atmosphere very quiet at the beginning, and then suddenly go out tones more pronounced , introduced by an unexpected drum fill. In the course of its duration, the piece alternates between these two moments, definitely buying a well-defined in the repertoire of the band. Sensational the entry of the guitars at 3:44, preceded and followed, at the end of the piece, by a curious voice effect. The song certainly more "elaborate" on the disc.
If you really want to look for combinations with other groups, the next Rockin all the way may seem a riff ZZTop in typical style, but to the point where Brian changing tone of voice, followed by a change of tone of the guitars (00:21). As is true for even different "War Machine", the chorus (in this case certainly more cheerful) is the main carattestica the song. In a recent interview Brian said that he would later put it in second place in the tracklist of the album, and there was I would say. For main riff of Black Ice, similar progression of "Playing with girls" (by Fly on the wall), although it is still magic of the band, of a completely different song. This final song, in our opinion, would not disfigured in an album like "Flick Of the Switch."
Final Thoughts Album
I think that most of you will agree with myself once finished listening to the album for the duration of its 55 minutes. So let me say this, so sorry if so blunt, but for me the star of this new "Black Ice" is without a doubt Brian Johnson, as it happened, of course, in another context, Back in Black. I do not know how to describe it, but it's as if these eight years, the last 5 or better, to be "served" to set up, understand how to sing and not just "scream". And 'this is what comes to mind listening again to the penultimate work "Stiff Upper Lip". We can not expect the vocal power of 15-20 years ago, but compared to the last 2 jobs, a quantum leap is clearly present. The talented Brian was then able to evolve and somehow improve her vocal ability, in parallel with the passage through the years. Attention: With all this talk does not mean absolutely belittle the rest of the band. I do not intend to give them a marginal role. Indeed, it is a great pleasure to listen to a great songwriting, but as it should be, the rest of the components always does its job. This time, however, with higher quality, with some new thing "instrumental", always in line with their steel style rhythm and lead ever, even on multiple tracks "dared", "Anything Goes" and "Rock'n'Roll Dream" on all. By analyzing the sound quality, Black Ice turns out to be large, clear, very clear. Forget the atmosphere more compressed the last two jobs. In this album you hear anything to perfection. Emphasize the superlative mix for the bass, for flats and kick drum, the choirs in general, the guitars optimally balanced. Even in points with some track in addition, the whole is never confused, but "full" and present. It remains in short pleasantly pleased with the work of Mike Fraser.
15 pieces are so many for a single album, in recent months we would definitely places questions like "will live up to all of the songs of suspense?" Or "there will be songs fillers?". After listening, my answer is no. For one simple reason: to any track on the disc does not remain indifferent, as it happened more often in "Stiff Upper Lip" with feeble "Damned" and "Come and get it", maybe a few of you will remember. Sure, there are other songs less effective and more engaging, but each has its particularity, a phrase, a chord change, a special vocal melody that makes it unique. This is the true size of the disk, the real "touch" that makes it different from others. Along with Marco staff, we came to the conclusion that it is probably from "For Those about to rock" that he never felt such an album. Congratulations then to producer Brendan O'Brien. The latter has repeatedly stated in recent interviews, did not want to re-invent the band, but to simply do a great job - "I missed my AC / DC, I wanted the return of the same band ever." I would say that there has been successful, even going beyond, "daring" the right. "I'm really proud of the new album, one of the best yet. I hope you guys really like it "(trans. I am very proud of the new album, one of the best. Hope you guys like it) was the message that we have received a few months ago by Brian. He was absolutely right and, at least to myself, the album really liked. Enjoy!