Blackstar - _Barbed Wire Soul_
(Peaceville, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
I can understand that by using a new name, these guys might not want to be compared with what they've done before, but really... three out of four members are well known for their work in Carcass, they chose their band's name out of the track listing of the last Carcass work, _Swansong_, and even the music sounds slightly like that same album. Sorry, but I can't avoid thinking of this as a follow-up to _Swansong_, even though Carcass is officially 'dead.' Blackstar (who signed with Peaceville) are composed of vocalist/bassist Jeff Walker, guitarist Carlo Regadas, and drummer Ken Owen, all ex-Carcass, and former Cathedral guitarist Mark Griffiths. _Barbed Wire Soul_ is indeed the kind of follow-up I expected to _Swansong_: more rock influences, Walker's vocals are a bit less raspy, and some similarities to _Swansong_ are still, even though at times barely, visible (by the way, check out the BIG surprise to be found in tracks 4 and 8...). So, if you're looking for a re-recording of, say, my favourite Carcass album, _Necroticism..._, you'd better go look somewhere else; however, this doesn't mean _BWS_ isn't good - it is quite good. Rocking with a sharp aggressive edge most of the time, the musical quality is there in every guitar twist and rhythm they use, as _BWS_ is easy to get into and really catchy indeed. "Game Over" and "Sound of Silence" are my choices for best tracks, however several others just aren't so remarkable. Still, Carcass may be dead, but their 'rot n' roll' lives on as Blackstar.

(article published 9/14/1997)


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