Sometimes it takes a few years until a band finds that perfect sound they have in mind for their songs. For the new album ‘Untamed’ by the French Sleaze Rock formation BlackRain, that’s exactly the case. Although already established as a band with their six previous releases and also very successful on tour (among others with Europe, Alice Cooper, Scorpions or Steel Panther), the quartet around singer Swan now presents a work that sets new quality standards in every aspect. “We love the powerful sound, the banging drums, this awesome mix of catchy melodies and aggression that permeates ‘Untamed’ from the very beginning,” bassist Matthieu de la Roche enthuses and goes on naming the producer of the new quality work: Hannes Braun, frontman of the German hard rockers Kissin` Dynamite and an important figure in sound engineering. De la Roche: “Hannes told us: ´I love your songs, your show really has excited me, I know exactly how your next record should sound!` Thanks to his help, we found the sound we’ve been looking for since ten years.” ‘Untamed’ will be released on November 25th, 2022 via Steamhammer/SPV. A date you should mark in red in your calendar!
The connection between the French group and their German producer was practically self-evident: BlackRain accompanied Kissin` Dynamite on their last European tour and they were friends for about a decade. “Kissin’ Dynamite were our support band in 2009 in a big gig in Paris. Now we are supporting them, and we are fine with this because it allowed us to cross Europe and catch a new public,” tells De La Roche. Out of this friendship sprang a fruitful collaboration. Swan, the singer and frontman: “I honestly don`t know how Hannes managed it, but whenever I sent him a new song for review and mix, he found that perfect last piece of the puzzle to refine it.”
However, ‘Untamed’ convinces not only with its dynamic, very transparent sound, but also with the exquisite songwriting. “We haven’t really changed anything fundamental, though,” Swan marvels over the creative inspiration. “We`ve always written the kind of songs we love ourselves. And since our line up hasn`t changed, we can`t really do anything different. Our goal is to keep getting better and hopefully one day write the perfect song. When one track is finished, we go on working with the mindset that the next one will be even better.”
You can feel this ambition in ‘Untamed’: While the title track (also the first single/first video, release date: July 29th, 2022) could hardly be more characteristic for BlackRain, ‘Demon’ surprises with an unusual mix of glam metal and sixties influences. Also atypical for the band: ‘Summer Jesus’ with a whammy bar solo. De la Roche: “The track reminds me a little of Muse. Maybe we should have offered the song to them, financially it would have certainly been worth it.” BlackRain themselves were taken by surprise by ‘Kiss The Sky,’ which gained tremendous substance during the recording process. De La Roche: “At first we weren`t 100 % sure about the number, but once it was mixed, our opinion changed. Now it`s become a real hit.”
This statement could serve as a quote to summarize the new record on the whole, because with ‘Untamed’ (the cover artwork is done by the Asian graphic artist Yellow Mushi) BlackRain have definitely created a small masterpiece, from which three more songs will be released after the first single: ‘Summer Jesus’ will be released on August 26th, 2022, followed by ‘Neon Drift’ on September 30th (with a guest solo by Kissin` Dynamite guitarist Jim Müller), and ‘Kiss The Sky’ on October 28th, 2022. Just one week later BlackRain will be back on stage fall 2022 is peppered with festivals, and spring/summer 2023 is reserved for a big European tour. Fans can already look forward to it!
Read our review here.