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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Specter At The Feast

It’s a a hard task to review the newest album of your favourite rock formation. It is even harder when you’re about to first see them live in a couple of hours at den Atelier. To me, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are one of the most influential bands in the genre that I know and yet they manage to maintain themselves as a riddle; perceived by the masses but still handled as an underground phenomenon. I remember the first time I saw one of their videos of their debut album on music television at a time where Nu Metal was THE big thing and I was completely flashed by the dark, melancholic mood of the music. I charmingly describe their music as my personal soundtrack for my suicide with an overdose, but I’ve got do drugs first for that purpose…

Specter At The Feast could be easily described as a panoply of genres the band underwent during the whole career, but that’s not the whole truth. Songs like the opener Fire Walker are a surprise with the almost esoteric intro and the hypnotic bassline, the vocals add a soothing action to the listening experience. Let The Day Begin and Hate The Taste are a perfect example for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’sease and serenity in songwriting. The fundament is rock solid and yet not self-evident to realize, which turns BRMC to the last remaining top dogs in their genre who managed to somehow survive for 15 years now.

Returning and Lullaby are two over-melancholic tracks that I could listen to in a hazardous endless loop, wallowing myself in self-pity. I personally feel myself catapulted back in 2005 when Howl was released. I might be the only one, but Peter Hayes’ voice so reminds me of John Lennon and this is not meant as an offense! BRMCflair for melancholic folk rock with an obvious retro taste is simply astounding. Therefor, Rival could be interpreted as a cool provocation for other bands to compete with BRMCfor rock’n roll olympus but I somewhat sense a defeat for each band who enters the arena. Teenage Arena is just the right soundtrack for the battlefield.

All in all, Specter At The Feastis a pleasant surprise because it shows no signs of fatigue in the trio’s songwriting. It’s challenging, dirty and mostly high paced, with a few exceptions (Fire Walkerbeing over the top but Sometimes The Lightis a bit too much calm after the storm). But who am I fooling anyway, I’ll stick to my opinion that Black Rebel Motorcycle Clubhave never released one bad album. I’m really looking forward in seeing them live and hyper nervous right now!

Eric

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