September 2, 2022

All roads lead to Black Sabbath! When New Jersey scene veteran Dan Lorenzo (Hades, Non-Fiction) was looking for musicians for his new project, Overkill’s Bobby Blitz gave him the idea of knocking on John Kelly’s (Danzig, Type O Negative) door, because – according to Blitz – “he would fit your riffs perfectly”. Blitz was right and Lorenzo and Kelly, who had never worked together before, formed Patriarchs In Black.

The duo makes no secret of where the musical heart of this collaboration beats – to put it in Kelly’s words: “All roads lead to Black Sabbath!” So on these nine tracks, there are lots of dragging riffs, paying homage to the ‘forefathers of doom’ on the one hand; and on the other hand, creating a mix of ‘snotty-rock’ that would also make the album a perfect soundtrack for a remake of “Easy Rider”!

For Reach For The Scars, the duo recruited a whole host of guest musicians who each put their own stamp on the songs. On this album, Karl Agell (COC), Dewey Bragg (Kill Devil Hill), Rob Traynor (Black Water Rising), John Kosco (Dropbox), Eric J. Morgan (A Pale Horse Named Death) and Dave Neabore (Dog Eat Dog), among others, all lend their own particular twists and authenticity to make the overall result both entertaining and varied – it put me in mind of Slash’s first “solo” album.

the happy twosome!

We have nine tracks here, each with the core of Johnny Kelly on drums and Dan Lorenzo on guitars, then the array of New York’s finest queueing up to play their part. First up is I’m The Dog, with Karl Agell on vocals (each song is co-weritten by Dan and the chosen vocalist); plus Eric J. Morgan on bass. The track eases in gently with some very delicate Spanish-style acoustic finger-picking before the much-anticipated riff kicks in! I was expecting it to be more of a full-frontal assault than it turned out, but hey! The vocals are very reminiscent of 21 Taras and the song positively bounces along as you might expect!

Sing For The Devil? has John Cosco on vocals, with Dan also covering bass. This one’s quite short, quite dark, a doomy, detuned riff being the dominant element. The Submission Bell features Rob Traynor on vocals and Eric J. Morgan on bass. It’s got a grrrreat! Sabbath-esque riff, could’ve been taken off any of the first four Sabbath albums – I was going to say except for Rob’s deeper vocals, but in the choruses he does a very passable Ozzy! God, you’ve got to listen to this one LOUD!

Built Of Misery is back to Karl on vocals and Eric on bass, Karl’s voice is SO powerful on here! And we get some rather tasty, all too brief licks from Dan the Man to boot. This Damn War features vocals from both John Kosco and Karl Agell, but its another monster riff that Mr Iommi must have created at some point that steals the show, or at least the intro! John and Karl do quite a fierce vocal duel/duette, I’m not sure which, the likes of which you don’t often hear! – and then Dan positively rips into a shredder of a guitar break. It’s a cracker!

Mourning This Life features Dewey Bragg on vocals and Jimmy Schulman on bass, it’s a heavy enough chord progression but not quite as ‘satanic’ as the previous offerings? Great vocals, a bit like The Answer’s Cormac Neeson, this one crashes over you again and again…phwoargh!

Hate Your Life has Dan Nastasi on vocals and Scott LePage on bass, its a bit of a rant and not the tastiest sandwich in this picnic? Then, Demon of Regret gets us back into safely Iommi territory, with more strong vocals from Karl Agell (bass handled by Dave Neabore). It’s a good strong track, setting us up nicely for the closer….

how dare they?….

Kashmir – yes, that one…..Jimmy Gnecco gets the hot spot on vocals, with Eric Morgan on both bass and keys. In a sense, all I need to say is that Jimmy is a great choice for singer here, he’s got that same silky tone as you-know-who! As a cover this is quite true to the the original – , I mean, you can’t improve on perfection so why try?! But it IS good, it’s a strong track, slightly odd in that in that it’s the least Sabbath-ish track out of the Nine – but hey. enjoy! What’s more, great album title!