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Well, here it is, the third studio album in a little over two years from supergroup extraordinaire Black Country Communion. It is also possibly, judging by certain comments recently made, going to be their final album, which would be a terrible shame, because of all the recent collaborations between well known musicians these guys are by far the best. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you who is in the band, but for any stragglers out there we have Glenn Hughes (Vocals & Bass), Joe Bonamassa (Guitar & Vocals), Jason Bonham (Drums) & Derek Sherinian (Keyboards) and ‘Afterglow’ is an album of epic proportions. BCC manage to perfectly capture the Hard Rock / Blues sound of the 1970s made famous by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Trapeze etc but they also add a modern dimension to their sound aided and abetted of course by ‘unofficial fifth member’ Kevin Shirley, who must be one of the most in-demand and best producers at the present time. Due to Joe’s solo commitments, much of the writing this time has been done by Glenn and, if I’m truthful, ‘Afterglow’ sounds a little more like a Hughes solo album than the previous two but that is no bad thing. Add to that a couple of Bonham songs and you actually get the most cohesive sounding BCC album to date. Considering the quick turnaround they have had on all three albums, the level of consistency is mind boggling.

As you might expect, all four members excel. Glenn’s voice actually seems to improve with age which is quite astounding when you consider the variety of music he has recorded over the years and he is a terribly underrated bass player. Joe brings his blues guitar expertly to the table and the only shared song vocally this time around, ‘Cry Freedom’, proves once again what a great team he and Glenn make. Jason is simply one of the finest drummers on the planet at the moment. His rhythms and timing drive the songs superbly well. There is clearly something very special in Bonham DNA and Derek is a fantastic and also much underrated keyboard player who seems to know instinctively when to play and when to stop and, like the last album, is featured more heavily than he was on the debut. ‘Midnight Sun’, ‘Dandelion’, ‘Common Man’, ‘Big Train’ are all, well in fact every damned song is a winner. I just cannot fault them. If this truly is to be the final outing for Black Country Communion then at the very least the band are going out on an extreme high and we will have three incredible studio albums and a live album/DVD to remember them by. We may never see their like again so let us appreciate it while we can. I, for one, will be crossing everything in the hope that any problems can be resolved because they really are too good to let this slip out of their grasp!
Mascot Records
Review by Rick Tilley
29th Oct 2012
1) Big Train
2) This is Your Time
3) Midnight Sun
4) Confessor
5) Cry Freedom
6) Afterglow
7) Dandelion
8) The Circle
9) Common Man
10) The Giver
11) Crawl
"If this truly is to be the final outing for Black Country Communion then at the very least the band are going out on an extreme high..."