Review: Revival Black – Under The Light
TMR Rock Records (August 26th, 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
UK band Revival Black have returned to the scene with their second album ‘Under The Light‘, hoping to regain some momentum from their pre-pandemic debut in 2019. For those unfamiliar with their sound, you are in for a heavy blues rock record in the vein of bands like Alter Bridge, Massive Wagons, and Slash, but with a touch of L.A. sleaze. If you dig that sound, this band is certainly worth your time.
You know you’re in for a great experience when the sonics make your ears perk up with auditory satisfaction. Opening song ‘Believe’ is an absolute blast to rock out to. The guitars are high in the mix and have a chainsaw-like quality with its rawness, especially in the chorus, where the rhythm slows slightly but the distortion grows. The gang vocal “Woah” refrain at the end is the icing on the cake.
Those gang vocals carry over perfectly to open the following track ‘Take You Out’. It is hear you also notice how the bass helps to establish the sonics. Bassist Jamie Hayward is all over the verses here, playing parts that could easily be played by the guitars, but both guitarists choose instead to let their chords ride out with minimum strokes and save their energy for the chorus. This structure makes this song one of the best on the album.
‘See You Again’ shows some more great use of that guitar distortion and even includes great drum echo effects to open the song, although I would have loved to see a return to this effect again at some point later in the track. Production and mastering are both handled by Loïc Gaillard with the band also handling production duties and they bring their “A” game to this effort.
With no disrespect to singer Dan Byrne and drummer Ash Janes (who do an admirable job on the album) the sound and feel of this band belong to guitarists Alan Rimmer, Adam Kerbache, and bassist Jamie Hayward. As mentioned earlier, the guitars have a thick, shredded distortion that creates a wall of sound that is impactful. If checking this album out online, be sure to listen to ‘Broken Home’ or ‘Take You Out’ for a perfect example of the interplay between the three of them that is executed so well.
One thing to point out is that the second half of the album is not as strong as its first half. The material and melodies are greater in the first half. Too many of the songs on the second half rely on the same similar blues rock groove, making the songs blend in a way that makes you forget the uniqueness of each track when played straight through.
This is a band to watch out for and you are sure to hear them talked about more on social media as they make their presence known and grow their fanbase, which is sure to happen if they continue to release quality product like the songs on this album. If you dig heavy, blues-infused rock, then this album is right up your alley. The material, playing, and production are all top notch. I can’t wait to see the heights this band will climb.