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Review: Black Death - Black Death
Black Death
Black Death

Label: Auburn Records
Year released: 2000
Originally released in: 1984
Duration: 70:27
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: June 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating
Black Death

Rated 4.19/5 (83.75%) (16 Votes)

We all know the "black metal" joke when referring to Black Death, so when I saw the band picture I had to listen to the damn thing. Basically this is good old school and old fashioned U.S. metal and what made this band notorious (then and now) is that the members are black. I'll be honest, to me race should never matter when listening to a band but in this case it is worth noting – let's face it there aren't many metal bands with all black members out there.

But let me move on to the music, after all that is why I'm writing this review. Like I said before this is old school U.S. metal so if you like bands like Skullview, Destructor, October 31 and to some extent Cirith Ungol you'll feel right at home. There is some cool shit in here like the opener "Night of the Living Death", the faster "The Scream of the Iron Messiah" and the title track. Also worth noting is the excellent bonus material, featuring five additional songs that truly complement the album.

The musicians are very good, especially for that era. Singer/guitarist Siki Spacek has a very solid mid-range voice and can some pretty impressive screams. The other guitarist Greg Hicks is equally as good, delivering riffs that are surprisingly enjoyable. Darrell Harris bass is serviceable and it is a highlight in the title track. Phil Bullard (R.I.P.) does a good job on the drums; he may not be a drum god but his drum beats fill the songs adequately.

Not everything is perfect though; songs like "Streetwalker" and "When Tears Run Red" are a little long and too slow for my liking. This isn't an all-out speed album even though it has some fast songs - I would have liked to hear a faster tempo. The production here is o.k. I've heard better with similar type budgets. One thing must be noted, although the live track sounds like shit, they proved that they could deliver the goods in a live setting.

For better or worse Black Death's self-titled debut has become a cult album. This is a good record to have, it doesn't offer anything that you haven't heard before but considering that this was released in 1984 it is highly original stuff. Unfortunately they were gone in a flash, so it's a disappointment that we can't hear another album from them again.

Other related information on the site
Review: Black Death (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Until We Rock: The Early Recordings of Black Death (reviewed by Omni)
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