When the news broke last year that Black Country Communion were back together and working on a new album, the fans were definitely happy. It’s not surprising really – Black Country Communion are a band packed with talent – Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian. As a band they have only ever done a limited number of shows together – all the band members have work outside the band, especially workaholic Joe Bonamassa, so trying to find dates for touring can’t be an easy task.
Now the band’s fourth album is due for release soon, and two UK live dates are to follow in early January.
As you’d expect from such talented musicians, the band have tried to avoid making the new album the same as what they’ve done before, so while it keeps many familiar elements it’s an evolution from previous albums. Glenn Hughes’s voice is simply stunning – it’s amazing how much power he has in his voice and his ability to reach the highest notes is undiminished by age. Joe Bonamassa’s guitar work is as always simply superb. Jason Bonham’s drums drive things forward relentlessly and the keyboards from Derek Sherinian really enrich the songs.
The songs were mainly written by Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa working together with the others then adding their touches to the songs.
One of my favourite songs on the album is “The Cove”. It’s a heavy song but absolutely beautiful despite being about something that is in no way beautiful. It’s about the brutal slaughter of dolphins in the coastal town of Taiji in Japan, where every year these beautiful creatures are driven into a cove where they’re trapped and slaughtered as the ocean turns red with their blood. It’s a subject very dear to the heart of singer/bassist Glenn Hughes who has been working with The Dolphin Project for several years. A video is promised for the song which I in equal amounts want to see and don’t want to see as I suspect it’s not going to be easy viewing.
Another song that is very personal to Glenn Hughes is “Love remains”. He wrote it while flying back to the UK for his father’s memorial service, and the song is for his father. As if that wasn’t personal enough, when he came to record the song, his mother had just passed away, so it was an emotional time for him.
For “The last song for my resting place”, Joe Bonamassa takes over the vocal duties. It’s got a nice mandolin intro and during the song, a fiddle is used which is very appropriate since the song was inspired by the story of Wallace Hartley, a violinist and band leader on the Titanic who kept on playing as the passengers were evacuated from the sinking liner.
With this album the fans are bound to have high expectations based on how good the previous albums were, but after listening to it a lot recently I’m totally confident that they won’t be disappointed – this album doesn’t just meet expectations, it exceeds them. A fantastic release.
BCC IV will be released on 22nd September 2017
2. Over my head
3. The last song for my resting place
5. The cove
6. The crow
8. Love remains
10. When the morning comes