'2': Black Country Communion (Mascot Records).
I've always had mixed feelings about heavy metal muisc, Where it's good (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple), it's very good. But sometimes it can all seem a bit obvious, overblown and samey.
Thankfully Black Country Communion's second album, '2', falls in the former bracket. In fact, I belive it could well become a heavy rock classic.
The band is pretty much a 'supergroup', comprising blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa; former Deep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes; drummer Jason Bonham, son of legeneday Zep sticksman John; and keyboardist Derek Sherinian, of Dream Theater.
The band released their first album in September last year but are so keen to go out live and play their own material that their second set is out just nine months later on June 13.
The album bursts into life with the explosive The Outsider and Man In The Middle and you know right from the start that you are in for an exciting ride with some really heavy drums, blistering guitar solos and vocalist Glenn Hughes in confident form.
There are some strong influences on display. One of the standout tracks, Save Me, could have come off a Zeppelin album and the bluesy Little Secret has a similar feel to Since I've Been Loving You. Occasionally you pick up hints of Free or Purple, too, but while Black Country Communion might have a retro sound the production is twentieth first century and they do what they do to perfection.
Smokestack Woman and Faithless are full of great riffs while closing track Cold is a classy hard rock ballad.
Joe Bonamassa is a fabulous guitarist with a wonderful flowing style, while Jason Bonham powers the songs forward with some thunderous drumming.
A tight, strong band, then, whose latest album deserves to sell extremely well.