Review | Rebelstar – The Black Widow Anthems
Graviton Music Services
April 14th saw the release of `The Black Widow Anthems‘, the third album of Dutch rockers Rebelstar. Recorded and produced by bandleader/ singer/ guitarist Serge Naberman, the album has a well-balanced sound.
Since the 2014 album ‘II’, the band has had some personnel changes. In fact we can welcome a complete new line up. Together with Serge, guitarist Conrad Hultermans, drummer Ciro Palma and bassist Bart ‘Dus’ Pellinkhof are responsible for the fireworks on the album. This new line up provided a breath of fresh air and inspiration. The decision was made to jettison all the old material, write new music and create a completely new, contemporary album.
Looking back on a turbulent period of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, ’The Black Widow Anthems’ has become Rebelstar’s [read: Serge’s] most personal album. From the cocktail-infused opener ,,One More Time’’ to the liberating ,,Start Rocking’’, the songs each tell a story of the downward spiral caused by booze and drugs and the frantic attempts to regain a grip on life.
Fortunately, the main ingredient for this album is once again a familiar mix of hard & heavy rock and roll! The album has received a fine production, which provides an easy listening feel. The wheel is not reinvented on this album. Some of the songs do have a heavier feel to them, and Serge‘s vocals here and there remind me of none other than Alter Bridge shouter Myles Kennedy. ,,Somebody Save Our Souls’’ and ,,Under A 100.000 Stars’’ for example.
REBELSTAR AND BRUCE KULICK
On ,,All Messed Up’’, the band even managed to bring in ex-Kiss guitar slinger Bruce Kulick for a smashing solo. But fair is fair, the solo work on the rest of the album is also more than fine. Of course, it’s great that such a celebrity wants to collaborate on your album, but it won’t be the deciding factor whether this album will be a smashing success.
,,Hold On To The Night’’ has a delightful nod in terms of guitar work and build-up to ,,Slave To The Grind’’ [Skid Row], without sounding like a rip off. Describing the style of music to someone who doesn’t know the band, I would say that Alter Bridge, Kiss, Skid Row and a touch of Accept were thrown into a blender and out came this new Rebelstar record. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that as far as I’m concerned because the album listens away just fine.
My favorite songs are opening track ,,One More Time’’, ,,All Messed Up’’ and ,,In Murder They Trust’’ with yet again delicious guitar riffs.
Whether it will be their hoped-for international breakthrough I cannot predict. The fact is that with `The Black Widow Anthems’ they have made a more than fine album.
Production, songs and songwriting skills are top, so I think Rebelstar will be a welcome act for the clubs and upcoming festival season.
Release date: 14 April 2023
A recommendation for those who are living close to The Hague [NL] and are looking for a great night out, TONIGHT!