The cold black river flows onwards, carrying the dead to places unknown, or as the Madison, Wisconsin band put it, “Anywhere Ya Wanna.” The trio are set to drop their third release of dusty doom rock spiced up with that bluesy riffin’ vibe, and “Tales of Death & The Devil” is a humdinger – the third in a row after 2 well-received EPs, and this time the band are even more sinister and mysterious.
After opener “The Deserts of Mars” sets the low-down dirty pace, the opening words delivered in Eric Cobb’s drawl set the record’s dark tone: “Born under a damn bad sign / I’m known by many names / I’m darker than anti-matter / Understand your need for pain.” His vocal approach speaks of a world-weary traveler settling down for a drink and a storytelling session to anyone willing to hear, involving goddesses, doomsday and a strange string of numbers. The other two members are happy to accompany him, and the chemistry indicates many hours of jam sessions and the comfortability it brings.
After a few listens, the grooves in the band’s own records creep in – classic Sabbath, working man’s Clutch, and riff-central Kyuss a few highlights among them. Familiar names, but certainly well-integrated into Cold Black River’s own unique interpretation. It also helps that the record sounds good – the mixing is smooth and lets a beefy bass and in-the-pocket drumming complement the top-notch guitar playing.
In such a rich scene as Madison’s, it’s an achievement to stand out like Cold Black River do. With such a potent third record under their belts, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing much more of this band. As the final track so neatly puts it – “Long after you have been broken / the river will flow evermore.”
“Tales of Death & The Devil” will be released on CD on June 14th 2019. The digital version can be purchased here.
Read our review here.