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Carbon Black – ‘We Remain’

Independent Release/Earache Records
Pantera, Black Label Society, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest
Release Date
Independent Release/Earache Records
Heavy/Groove/Southern Metal

Carbon Black takes a solid base of groove metal, sprinkles in some death metal vocals, and delivers it with traditional heavy metal flair. The opening track on ‘We Remain’ might fool the listener into thinking they are in for a trashy death metal album. After some initial guitar build, that classic thrash drum tempo starts the affair, but the vocals club the listener over the head with a pure death metal growl. Not to be typecast yet, then singer Jonathan Hurley delivers a spoken word passage ala Megadeth and transitions into a passionate southern rock vocal harmony. Now the listener has a handle on what to expect.

Riffs abound throughout ‘We Remain’ providing numerous different grooves and feels. All of these differing songs are anchored into a cohesive album by the southern rock vocals performed by Australian Carbon Black. The drums are particularly exciting. Steve Giles on drums and his brother Rob on bass maintain a tight pocket while still finding places to be expressive. The guitar solos are screaming displays of intensity, although there is a bit of overuse of the wah pedal.

Two songs in particular stand out. ‘Under Order’ features a guest spot from Tim “Ripper” Owens who provides his trademark highs over the band’s relentless groove.  The other song is ‘Our Reprise’ which has the guitar hooks reminiscent of Black Sabbath with the dirty but catchy vocal hook of a nineties groove metal classic. ‘Our Reprise’ could have easily been an enormous hit in the early nineties. Today it’s likely to find an enthusiastic niche audience amongst those who pine for that classic heavy metal sensibility with an energetic rendition.

"heavy metal sensibility with an energetic rendition"

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