Black Emerald – Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us
Release Date: 10/02/2018
Running Time: 56.41
Review by Tsarina Wilson
Black Emerald’s new album “Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us” is a high energy album which is gritty and definitely fuses many different genres together from Thrash to Hard Rock.
This three piece band has all the energy of much larger bands with strong vocals from Edd Higgs who also supplies some epic guitar riffs, more vocals from bass guitarist Simon Hall which are just as gritty and some brilliant drumming from Connor Shortt. Black Emerald are from Reading in the UK and after multiple line-up changes over the years have become one of the most successful bands in the area, and plan on playing in their home town on the same day as the album is released.
“Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us” certainly delivers on all fronts, it was mixed and mastered by Matt Bew and James Billinge of Whitehouse Studios in their home town of Reading (the sound is huge) and also has some special guest appearances with Craig McBrearty of Gutlocker providing guest vocals on the track ‘Life Of Anxiety’ and Andy Gunn of Remnant playing guest guitar on ‘Voodoo Princess’. The artwork for the album has been created by, the ever in demand, Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art!
The opening track ‘Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us’ leads you into a false sense of security with the almost doom like opening couple of minutes, then it blasts into a brilliant guitar riff with great drumming and ‘BANG’ we are off and running and the energy is sustained throughout the album. Black Emerald give it 100% with numerous twists and turns and the gruffness of some of the vocals are brutal but certainly work for the band as is also shown in ‘Life Of Anxiety’ which stops so abruptly mid-song you think the track is over but no…it returns with just as much power as before.
‘Voodoo Princess’ is certainly a story within a song as well as having a brilliant Funk Rock/Hendrix feel to it and with an awesome guitar solo this track keeps you wanting more. The nearly 10 minutes of ‘Jonestown’ shows all the bands abilities and energy, starting off with quiet and brooding vocals which build to a crescendo and then drop back again. It’s a very dark, slower track but with a strong message (If you’re familiar with the Jonestown Massacre of 1978 then it’ll make a lot of sense) and for me is one of the best tracks on the album; everything about it is just so gritty but strangely refreshing. Black Emerald don’t try to be like anyone else, they have a unique style and I hope they keep true to it. Final track ‘Revelations’ is almost the calm after the storm, after all the energy of the whole album this track is like a big exhalation of breath to calm you down!
Black Emerald and “Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us” won’t be to everyone’s taste but they are true to themselves which is what it’s all about! They are very powerful and I think if they keep this style then we will be hearing a lot more from them in the future. This band is unique and whilst each member of the band is individually so good, blending them together creates an epic sound, which I can only imagine must be immense on stage!
01. Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us
02. Life Of Anxiety (featuring Craig McBrearty of Gutlocker)
03. Dr. Stein
05. One For The Road
06. Voodoo Princess (featuring Andy Gunn of Remnant)
07. Drown In The River
08. Sculptures To The Sky
09. Figure On A Barbed Wire Cross
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