Friday, February 20, 2009

Black Ice Review


Black Ice (2008) Review

I'm going to put aside my chronological AC/DC reviews and review their newest release, “Black Ice”.

AC/DC fans have waited eight years, and it's finally here. “Black Ice” is the band's first album since their 2000 effort, “Stiff Upper Lip”. Recorded in Vancouver and produced by Brendan O'Brien, “Black Ice” is the longest AC/DC album to date, spanning fifty-five minutes. “Black Ice” has sold at least six million copies, so it's off to a great start in sales. The cover of the album features AC/DC in large letters and a very complex black background, which is very cool. The three singles that have been released from the album are Rock 'N Roll Train, Big Jack, and Anything Goes. All of which are radio friendly, making them smart choices.

“Black Ice” hits you hard, starting of with Rock ‘N Roll Train. It’s amazing how the Young Brothers can still come up with killer riffs like this after so many songs. Next up is the bluesy Skies On Fire, which features another great riff, as well as solid backing vocals. Big Jack is fast paced song with an incredibly catchy chanting chorus, reminiscent of Hail Caesar. Anything Goes is a tad more mainstream than what the boys usually pump out, but still hard rocking. Overall, it's a really enjoyable track. War Machine is one hell of a song. It attacks with precision, starting out with a pounding bass line, erupting after Phil’s snare fill. Smash ‘N Grab, in similar fashion to Skies On Fire, is another great bluesy song, featuring yet another great gang chorus. After three solid but forgettable tracks (Spoilin’ For A Fight, Wheels, and Decibel), we are treated to an incredibly unique song. Stormy May Day has Angus playing slide guitar while Brian screeches his heart out about water, wind, and lightning. After the generic She Likes Rock ‘N Roll, the Young brothers pound out yet another fantastic riff on Money Made. The following track, Rock ‘N Roll Dream, is the closest AC/DC will ever get to a ballad. But don’t be fooled; this mellow rockers hit hard once it reaches the chorus. Rocking All The Way is really the only song that feels like filler, which doesn’t make sense on an album with fifteen tracks. “Black Ice” finishes off with the title track, which is a bluesy, foot tapping tune that provides a strong end to the album.

High Points

  • Rock ‘N Roll Train, Skies On Fire, Big Jack, Anything Goes, War Machine, Stormy May Day, Money Made, Black Ice
  • Cool album artwork
  • Sounds great; excellent production

Low Points

  • Rocking All The Way
  • Too many songs
  • Bad track listing
Bottom Line

“Black Ice” is an excellent comeback for AC/DC. It is definitely their most consistent effort since “Flick Of The Switch” in 1983. Really, the only problems are the abundance of songs and bad track listing. “Black Ice” is a fine addition to any rock fan’s collection.