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Black Elephant - Cosmic Blues

Label: Small Stone Records
Format: Download
Released: 2018
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9.5/10


“Cosmic Blues” is exactly the album the Metal scene needs in 2018. This could unite fans from across all bridges and Classic Metal sub-genres.

 

For the second track, “Helter Skelter,” which feels like the real opener, Black Elephant steal the song title from Paul McCartney, the guitar tone from Tony Iommi, and the groove from Jimi Hendrix - - but it’s all good. Better than good, in fact. There are a lot of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” reflections on their 2018 “Cosmic Blues” record, and that’s perfectly fine.
For much of the record, guitarist (and vocalist) Alessio Caravelli’s playing sounds like a jam session between Joe Bonamassa and Tom Morello, while sometimes possessed by the spirit of Hendrix. You can throw in some Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Brent Hinds, Eric Clapton, and Ritchie Blackmore, to boot.
Black Elephant’s music might be a bit too Heavy for the Blues Rock scene, but on the merits of this record, Alessio deserves to become a marquee name in that field, as well as in the Metal world. He isn’t much for shredding, but his bends and phrases tremble with the might of a thousand high-speed notes. This record is all about his live wire power Blues licks, There are no real riffs to speak of, there aren’t even a great number of vocal sections, just jams and grooves to set the scene for the fantastic lead guitar. Again, it’s better than good. Sometimes the feel from solid jamming is all you need to make a simple song into a great song, and that’s what is going on here.
Recommended for anyone with a taste for Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Rage Against the Machine (minus the Rap-Metal parts), and just about all heavy 70s Blues-based Rock.

 
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