Review | BlackRain – UnTamed

Steamhammer SPV Records

With the new Skid Row banger `The Gang’s All Here’ fresh in my memory, BlackRain seems to respond in a matter of minutes unleashing their whip `UnTamed’ on the sleaze rock community. Both come storming, with the Skids sounding rejuvenated and the French flagship rocking out with tremendous grit and gravel, the genre sees its revival gearing up.

`Dying Breed’, the album’s predecessor, lies already 2 years behind us and still finds its way to my stereo frequently. The immense energy grips and is instantly combusting once ,,UnTamed” hits the airwaves. The song emits tremendous swagger and packs the typical high energy potion BlackRain cooks up constantly. Max 2’s scorching riffs, studded licks and wonderful melodies fused onto the ponderous banging drum and bass interaction of drummer Frank F. and bassist Matthieu de la Roche. The elixir smokes and is topped off by the dynamic vocal presentation of Swan Hellion who utilizes his entire range on the title track. He pitches siren-like with the rest of the band belting out the song title and counting to set off the double bass concoction. 


More prog tinged (!) with its time changes and breaks ,,Kiss the Sky” ignites over awesome short licks and solos to find accolades on the rousing chorus. Again, it all nests on the spot, without lacking push and punch. Bridge and chorus outlined by dabbing keys while vocals harmonies double up to intensify. Displaying their variety BlackRain inserts ravishing interplay of low droning bass licks and intensifying solos.  The vocoder opening ,,Dawn of Hell” reminds of Bon Jovi and recurs on the nesting chorus. Hellion touching his raw register for the melodic fist pumper, something he pulls into the following ,,All the Darkness” with its loud roaring bass and slick hook and melodies. The drums are dominant, with double bass kicks and floors injecting a great dynamic drive.

Doubling up on the melody Max 2 opens ,,Demon” in pristine form. The song packs a Hanoï-vibe and radiates feel good vibes over the dancing tribal drum rolls and reverbing hook. Swan Hellion towers in melodic strut before delving into the rousing opening of ,,Summer Jesus”, again spouting fuming melodies drizzling onward. Packing great drum dynamics and breaks fused to the appealing Saigon Kick-like psychedelic melodies, the song boils with contradicting elements. The rumble and slickness concoct, with the song growing on the listener. The psychedelic tone is maintained on the oriental opening of ,,Set The World on Fire”, and keeps popping back in the mix while Hellion moans and roars loudly. Anger retained, it moans with reality reflective lyrics. 


For a moment I expected ,,Neon Drift” to be one of the songs easily forgotten. That is, until modern Sci Fi vibes scatter the soundwaves and the band excavates another sterling melody and chorus. Keys again dabbing in the mix subtly and Max 2’s solo displays his feeling for melody, switching shred and Vai-like keyboard explorations. The song starts to pick up intensity and melody with bass laying down a low boney lick and keys swirling towards the outro. 

,,Blade of Love” is fired upon us with a chunky riff in the best George Lynch style, before stalling for the vocal section. Swan and Frank F fuse the vocals to a banger style beat that picks up towards the chorus. The Lynch lick reverbs and contrivances with Lifeson reminiscent drizzling picks over the constantly hammering drums. Industrial toned keys dense up the sleazy atmosphere, creating an absolutely wonderful sleaze rocker around tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Dynamics that kick up the ominous opening of the party cracker ,,Raise your Glass”. Simpler, director, and sleazier, this is a swinging live track that yields for the upcoming ruff ,,Shut Down” with its bombardments of beats and breaks. Escalating the lyrical content, no fucks are given towards the big bang end of `UnTamed’.


Let’s face it, ,,Shut Down” is shutting down the constant energy unleashed, to enjoy the mandatory power ballad ,,The End”. The song opens predictable until it picks up on the throttle and discharges melodic pain and agony. The typical 80s power ballad, with subtle ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ emphasizing the slick shit that enchants us rockers. The ass toucher after a gig full of energy!

`UnTamed’ does justice to its title, with the French heavy rockers laying down one of the best performances in the genre. Their feeling for melody and drama is welded onto a construction of dynamic drum and bass that is strong and powerful, easily holding up the extravagant main event: the amazing guitar and vocal discharge. Max 2 touches all boundaries of the metallic genre, laying down the most ravishing riffs and hooks, solos and melodies, the diversity and style is unprecedented. This musical power surge erupts with Swan’s excellent vocals and wonderful range. `UnTamed’ is the grower rather than a show-er that will find its way into the hearts of many.

BlackRain redefines sleazy hair metal dynamite!

Release date: 25 November 2022



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