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Black Country Communion - Afterglow (2012)

af-ter-glow
noun

1. The pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc.

Perhaps it was foreshadowing or maybe they were well under way from being no more, but I cannot think of a more apt title for Black Country Communion's third and last studio album. It was recorded in June 2012 in five whirlwind days at Revolver Studio, Thousand Oaks, California with Kevin Shirley as producer.

Due to their virtually non-existent touring schedule as BCC, Glenn Hughes had approximately six months to write material. Although Hughes claimed that Afterglow was going to be a continuation from the first two albums, he was writing darker lyrics, with more drama and wanted to have more acoustic moments.

This album would definitely be considered to be included in the classic rock genre of the 1960s and 1970s, however it benefits from being in the 21st century, with the added experience from the band and the modern recording capabilities.

This album packs a huge load of groove and funk, thanks to drummer Jason Bonham and bassist/lead vocalist Glenn Hughes. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa adds virtuoistic blues noodlings that slices through the aural butter with a hot Gibson Les Paul. Although existent, I wish that Derek Sherinian's keyboards would have taken a more featured role on the album. With Sherinian's resume, I would have expected him to match more with Bonamassa's guitars.

It's hard not to compare BCC's efforts on this album to other bands, the keyboards and drums on Midnight Sun are very reminiscent of some of the anthems from The Who. The split vocal styling on Cry Freedom remind me of some of the vocals from Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill from ZZ Top. Plus, all of the songs have a healthy sprinkling of Led Zeppelin on them.

What a shame that this is most likely the last that we will be receiving from Black Country Communion. This is an extremely strong sounding album, both musically and lyrically, with no hint of fading away. It comes in with a huge, rhythmic punch and goes out with an angry, aggressive, groove-tacular stomp.

Afterglow was released on October 29, 2012 internationally and on October 30, 2012 in the United States on Bonamassa's J&R Adventures label.

Thanks for a great nearly three years and three albums.

Jeff Strawman
October 31, 2012

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