Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Lost Realm Records
Year: 2017, 1987
I think I should start this review by addressing an old theory that said: “When British people start playing melodic Hard Rock, they do it better than the Americans”. Regardless of whether this is the case or not, I can safely admit that albums like the second full length of the British Black Rose are the main cause of theexistence of such theories.
Founded in 1976 in Cleveland and after 4 years under the moniker Ice, they entered the 80’s with furious attitude –as Black Rose – changing their name and – several times –their lineup, recording – among others – theirself-titled EP and the “Boys will Be Boys” debut with Bullet, eventually ending in the welcoming Neat, which would release the band’s second album “Walk It How You Talk It” and the “Nightmare” EP, recordings with which the band will reach 1989,time whenultimately they disbanded.
In ‘Walk It How You Talk It’, which was released in 1987, the band essentially concludes what it had already begun with its debut: A conscious turn to the American melodic Hard Rock / Metal sound with the necessary glam strokes.
This turn is of course perceived mainly by those who are in touch with the – interesting – recordings of the band before its debut –in which they engage with this rough N.W.O.B.H.M. sound, a trademark for a big part of the English Metal scene in the early 80’s. However, things in their two full lengths – and especially in the second – are quite different.
So, we reach the band’s second album and the passport for the US has already been released, with Black Rose playing this hard rock / metal grip, with dynamic and glamorous melodies, which were already reaching great levels in the U.S.
The result is excellent and the album is delightful. It’s a full – hearing experience and when the last track is over, the finger goes back to hit the play button spontaneously. Dynamic and straight to the point guitar themes that serve the purpose of the material, to engrave themselves in your mind that is (E.Z.L.Y.). The keyboards, give a more delicate texture to the ultimate sonic result (Honestly Love You, Don’t Fall In Love), catchy choruses (Keep The Bright Light Burning) are the key ingredients here. The band also manages to master even that sonic explosion we meet in “Walk It How You Talk It”, a track in which speed is faster. They manifest that metal heritage to their forefront. Listening to the track ‘our’ Douglas came to mind, who at the same time produced their own “State Of Rock” a mainly melodic Hard Rock album, but they also left room for that Heavy Metal Dynamite called “Dogs Of War”. And because I can actually listen to my chief editor mumbling that I’m drifting away from my main subject, I return to Black Rose to say that in this re-release by Lost Realm Records that I hold in my hands, there is the “Nightmare” EP asa bonus, for which a talked earlier.
“Nightmare” was released via Neat two years before “Walk It …”, in 1985 that is. In the four tracks that make up the EP material, the band leaves its N.W.O.B.H.M.’s heritage to go a little further in the limelight – listen to the introduction and generally the whole set up of the homonymous piece and you will understand exactly what I mean. Of course, the scent of American glam is here – especially in the next 3 tracks – but that doesn’t stop you from listening to “Nightmare” at the end 3-4 times on repeat offering joy to the neighbors.
In short, with the re-circulation of Lost Realm, we have in our hands the entire – short but very fertile – period of those English bastardsduring the Neat-era. The entire second album of 1987 and the 1985 EP, are the best examples of their composition talent. The package also complements a vibrant DVD with a live appearance of the band from the mid-1980s.
Black Rose will return to active action in 2003, they will write another record in 2010 and will make sure to re-release their 80s material through several collections or complete re-releases such as this one marking the 30th anniversary of the release of the second and their greatest album.