Wade Black, another familiar face: From CRIMSON GLORY to SEVEN WITCHES and LEATHERWOLF and from CLOCKWORK REVOLUTION to CHALICE OF SIN, Wade Black has proven himself as a prolifc and hard working musician, loyal to the American metal sound. Therefore, his return with a new band under the name “WADE BLACK’S ASTRONOMICA” shouldn’t come as a surprise. Of course, the name is a reference to the CRIMSON GLORY album, Wade Black‘s breakthrough record, and perhaps a statement that the current project is more personal, though Rick Marks, guitar player of the album, has been a close partner of Wade Black.
So what should someone expect from Wade Black in 2024? Well the answer is simple: nothing less than American made heavy metal.
From the first notes of “Deceiver” I felt like meeting again an old friend. Not so old actually, since CHALICE OF SIN (another Wade Black‘s project) was out a couple of years ago. Wade‘s characteristic voice, but most importantly, his approach to heavy metal: raw, yet melodic and introvert at the same time. Quite diverse yet, enough to provide an interesting and inspired album.
There is a modern approach in the classic American metal sound, with influences varing from CRIMSON GLORY (but of course), VICIOUS RUMORS and METAL CHURCH to melodic acts like LILIAN AXE and SAVATAGE and from modern FLOTSAM and JETSΑM to ICED EARTH and from DARKOLOGY to CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED. In fact, the song compositions and arrangements felt quite close to the last two bands, since they both combine modern songwriting and technical performing with catchy melodic choruses.
There are various highlights like “Protectors of the realm“, “Hellwalker“, “Darkness falls“, “Letters from hell” all of them quite “provocative” with a 90’s metal feeling, as if this is one obscure 90’s release, avalable only from independent retailers. Yes, there are some aggressive parts, for example “Fate of faith” or the first song “Deceiver“, songs that flirt with modern thrash metal yet do not cross lines. Should you seek another 80’s copycat, look somewhere else this project is for more open minded listeners who seek good and inspired music.
To sum up, I’d say that I am more than happy that Wade Black is back: As I mentioned, this one feels as if it’s a more personal album, a testament of how Wade likes his heavy metal. Its inspired, introvert but it will appeal to modern listeners and those who grew up with U.S. 90’s rarities.
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.