June 12, 2022

I always regard the ’70s as the period when music was at its finest and certainly most diverse with pop sitting comfortably alongside prog rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz, disco and punk and the charts were full of songs that we regularly hear still today on the radio. By contrast I consider that music then took a downward spiral from 1988 onwards with the likes of Britpop (Pulp excluded) and the Spice Girls in particular being the absolute nadir. Nowadays, the charts are full of identikit pop acts and it’s virtually impossible to tell one from another so the situation has been and remains dire. However, the development of bands recording from home studios and advertising through the internet and the increase in specialist rock music labels has meant that, in general, all forms of rock have bucked the trend and some of the music we have seen over the last 10-years or so can rival what the giants produced back in the ’70s and ’80s. You may disagree with me and that is fine as we all have our own opinions and you may believe the exact opposite which proves the wonder and beauty of music.

So, it now seems that just about every month along comes a couple of albums that blow your socks of and I’ve already earmarked around 20 albums for my top ten albums of the year and we are only just in June which means that something good is happening in the music world. Leading the fight back is the Frontiers label and they have already released several amazing albums this month and the continuing backing of rock projects means that the quality metal albums continue to come thick and fast.

The latest metal bombshell is Black Eye which is another new project put together for the Pink Cream 69 vocalist David Readman. Part melodic metal and part power metal Black Eye is one hell of a project and most certainly a debut album to sit up and take notice of especially if you are a fan of Pink Cream 69, Accept and all things David Readman.

Joining Readman is a host of talented Italian musician with guitars from Aldo Lonobile and Luca Princiotta (Doro), bass from Andrea Arcangeli (DGM), drums from David Folchitto (ex-Fleshgod Apocalypse, Stormlord) with Antoni Agate (ex-Secret Sphere) and Mattia Gosetti (Agarthic) providing keyboards and orchestral arrangements. As we all know by now, if Aldo Lonobile is involved then prepare for some real pyrotechnics as he is a phenomenal guitarist as can be experienced on his work with Secret Sphere, Archon Angel, Edge Of Forever and Sweet Oblivion. Lonobile is also on production duties and a damn fine job he does too with everything seeming to have been cranked up to and mixed at 11 so this really is a loud album! Actually, this leads me to the only reservation about this work in that Readman puts everything he has into sounding as loud and powerful as he can which, for sure, makes for a truly thrilling ride but you get a small sense that he is trying just a little bit too hard. If he had pulled back a little on his thunderous and rousing delivery then, I believe, he would have maintained just a little more control. No big problem though because if you want outrageous melodic metal that pushes the boundaries of the genre then this is a pretty perfect example of how to rock and will keep dedicated headbangers occupied for hours.

The album has a very melodic base over which all of the musicians get to showcase their own talents so expect stunning guitar and sumptuous keyboards with Readman doing what he does best and showing just what a force of nature he is as he stamps his own special style all over this very fine melodic metal album.

Black Eye

  1. The Hurricane (5:12)
  2. Space Travel (4:20)
  3. Break The Chains (4:10)
  4. No Turning Back (4:26)
  5. Darkest Night (3:34)
  6. Midnight Sunset (4:38)
  7. Under Enemy’s Fire (4:40)
  8. The Landing (5:11)
  9. Don’t Trust Anyone (4:11)
  10. When You’re Gone (4:20)
  11. Time Stand Still (4:00)