Hughes, Bonamassa, Sherinian, Bonham Regroup As Black Country Communion For ‘BCCIV’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

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The supergroup era took full flight in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when bands like Cream, Blind Faith and Crosby, Stills, Nash (and occasionally Young) showed the clear advantage of putting star names on the marquee for the purpose of drawing attention. That concept has never gone away, but these days it’s less apparent. To their credit, Black Country Communion has never touted itself as a supergroup per se — they leave it to the fans to do that –, but regardless, they are a mighty conglomerate regardless.

Nevertheless, BCCIV demonstrates that star power is well and good, but it’s the music itself that takes center stage. Glenn Hughes, Derek Sherinian, Jason Bonham (natch) and, to a lesser extent, Joe Bonamassa have all made hard rock of the most intense variety here. It’s a credit to their credence that the flash and fury is all part of a unified and cohesive sound, one that depends not on nuance, but on straight ahead muscle and indulgence, the kind that can’t help but make a formidable impression. It’s dated to a degree, and many of the best songs here — particularly the riff-heavy rockers like “Collide” and  “Sway” — bring to mind Led Zeppelin’s more persistent efforts from back in the day. And while there is occasional variation, the sprightly fiddle on the “The Last Song For My Resting Place” in particular, it’s that forward thrust that remains most predominant in the mix.

Of course, none of this falls outside the norm for any of the individuals involved. Working in tandem, they’ve elevated themselves to the top of the perpetual heap, and their continued indulgence proves justified. Even those who are not necessarily keen on the bombast might appreciate the combined talents concentrated here. Indeed, this communion is to be congratulated.

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