By Samantha Lloyd
After listening to this album you would be excused for thinking that Black Swamp Water are an American hard rock band with their roots firmly planted in the bluesy/country rock style of the likes of Black Label Society. Like I said, you’d be excused because these guys are from Silkeborg, Denmark and do not conform to the usual style of Scandinavian hard rock and metal that we are accustomed to.
Black Swamp Water formed in 2011, released their debut EP ‘Hellride’ in 2014 and after 2 years of gaining vital life experience they went on to deliver their mature, hard rock debut album ‘Chapter One’ that gives a gentle nod towards the likes of Black Sabbath era rock and roll, while meandering its way through a diverse arrangement of tracks to suit all tastes. ‘Leave Nothing Behind’ is a hard driven track that boasts some brutal yet intricate guitar riffs from Jan Greet and Martin Lykke Hansen. ‘The Only Road’ showcases the masterful and uncompromising booming beats of the rhythm section from bassist Jeppe Birch Friis and drummer Kim Langkjær Jensen while ‘Run’ is a much softer, acoustic and whiskey soaked vocal track that reminds me of old country blues rock.
‘Efuckinough’ is my favourite track of the album as it’s bold and in your face lyrics ‘Take your fucking leash off of me now!’ just really say it all. I love the angry and grindingly fierce hard rock attitude! ‘Harmless’ oozes with a thick heavy bass from Friis; booms, crashes and bangs from Jensen, all held together with huge vocals from Bjørn Bøllling Nyholm. I’m not sure I totally understand the reasoning behind track 4 titled ‘Interlude’, a 1:28 piano instrumental.. It totally threw me off. But then we’re graced with the beautifully written ‘Into the Fire’, which for me is one of the more thoughtful tracks.
As a whole, ‘Chapter One’ delivers 49 minutes of some absolutely scorching tracks with the customary squealies, booms and bluesy groove style rock, mixed with the rhythmic and accomplished riffs that really propel the album from beginning to end. It’s sludgy, it’s got plenty of hooks, and it really is dirty rock at its best; it’s pretty damn awesome!
Check out Black Swamp Water at:
Or on Instagram: blackswampwater
1. Leave Nothing Behind
3. World on Fire
5. Into the Fire
6. Black Swamp Water
7. Life Is Pain
8. The Only Road
11. Let it Go