By Dr. Abner Mality
This jewel popped up right in my own back yard. Blackcat Manor is from the small town of Freeport, IL but it’s come up with a sound that could be hugely successful if it gets the right exposure. “Relentless” is a five song effort that combines the raw power of thrash metal and the melody of pop punk in a way I’ve never heard before. This band really has the potential to appeal to fans of Slayer and Green Day equally.
“Relentless” lives up to its title and hits hard with first cut “Hellfire”. Wow, this is really well produced and everything sounds very professional. The song has a lot of metallic riffing and energy, but the vocals are so incredibly smooth and melodic it puts a whole new shine on things. The vocalist for this band is INCREDIBLE! That voice is so smooth and clean, but it can also erupt with harsh anger. Not in terms of death growls, but more just a very angry voice. He can tackle high speed word play with ease…listen to the rhyming chorus of “Forcibly Yours”. “Look Inside” has punchy Metallica-like riffing but the singalong “whoa-oh” vocals are right out of any pop punk band. And it works! The catchiness doesn’t detract from the energy of these tracks.
BCM also boasts an incredible drummer who cuts loose with bombastic kicks and fills throughout. The lead guitar work stands out as well. The five cuts here race right by like lightning and only the most grumpy metalhead would be sour on the more commercial hooks. Blackcat Manor has come up with a fresh and exciting sound that should break big, if people can look past their small town origin.
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