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Black Sites – ‘Untrue’

Independent Release
Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rainbow
Release Date
October 8, 2021
Independent Release
Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal

Former music journalist and Metalcore player Mark Sugar formed Black Sites in the mid 2010’s as an antidote to the overbearing seriousness of the Metal scene at the time. Heading straight into the late 70’s/80’s Heavy Metal era with a big slice of cheese, and a penchant for choruses full of killer hooks and memorable riffs.

Hold onto your hairspray and stereo chorus pedals though; we’re genuinely glad he did.

Debut “In Monochrome”, and the follow up “Exile” are both excellent albums, dripping with familiar sounding, but compellingly unique licks and song structure. “Untrue” follows the same wonderful formula once again, it’s like the 90’s never happened, the song is king once more. Adding a little extra flavour this time is a little more build up to the killer moments; the big hook filled choruses are still there for sure, nothing from the first two records is sacrificed. Things now seem a trifle more “Prog”.

Progressive in the way that Maiden are talked of as Progressive; not the King Crimson way. And though it could easily have distracted from the late Heavy Metal/early Hair Metal vibe, it actually adds a welcome depth and grandeur to the songs that allow the band to riff with a little more cohesion, a “oneness” that belies the reality of remote writing, and recording entirely separately.

That (in a round the houses way) showcases the meticulous, perfectionist way this has been written and recorded. The move in focus to a slower building structure gives the solos and twin lead moments a more appropriate setting; and yet it still manages the balancing act of sounding heart-warmingly classic, and refreshingly modern at the same time.

Another great album from the Chicago Metal Maestros.

"A solid and highly enjoyable trip back to the 80’s (in a good way). Highly recommended"

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