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Black Lung - Ancients

Label: Ripple Music
Format: Download
Released: 2019
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/10

Black Lung are part of the massive modern class of bands doing top-notch Doomy Stoner bar band Metal, with a strong 70s feel. If you took Peter Frampton's talk box away and discouraged his pop sensibilities, you might have gotten something like this. Vocalist, Dave Cavalier, sings a lot like a standard 70s Rock guy - - I get the sense he would have voted for Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1970. The tone and feel of the band also hearkens to that decade, pre-EVH, pre-Sex Pistols. Sabbath, sure, but also The Rolling Stones, Wishbone Ash, Mountain, Bad Co. Zeppelin, Free, et al. Drummer Elias Schutzman brings some serious groove, when the songs allow him to get down - - which are the best moments on "Ancients." I'll get to those in a minute.


I'm not sure if Dave Cavalier and the other guitarist in the trio, Adam Bufano, share the wah-wah pedal or if they each have one, but at times, it sounds like they have the attitude of "this thing cost me $150.00, and I'm gonna find a way to use it." Their straight-ahead leads are played with great Blues, neck-pickup soul, however. And about their bass player: they don't have one! It's a trio with two guitars and a drummer, but like other recent retro-ish acts The White Stripes and The Black Keys, the sound is full, and they find creative ways to fill out the bottom end.
My favorite moment on "Ancients" comes right in the middle of the record; you'll know it immediately when it comes on. During the breakdown for "Gone," everything drops out except for the drums and percussion, opening the floor for some killer soloing. The album definite ly peaks at the middle, with highlight tracks "Voices" and "Gone." Everything that comes before and after is good, but these are the ones that make this an album of note.

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