1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
No slip-ups here...,
This review is from: Black Ice (Audio CD)
Just got this yesterday after mulling over whether it was worth the purchase, according to various reviews. To be honest, reviews are opinions, and each to their taste. I bought it.
The opener, 'Rock and Roll Train' is classic AC/DC. No frills, straight to the point. I love it, it's unmistakeable but brilliant. Even thirty years on, their music is timeless and this will be in a few decades. Great opener. 10/10.
Track two is slightly slower in tempo, it's called 'Skies on Fire'. It's a good track nevertheless, solid and typical AC/DC. 8/10.
The third track is called 'Big Jack', and it's fantastic. This one's surprisingly heavy for AC/DC's standards, but hey, it works, and it's one of my favourite tracks on the album. The chorus is great and the riffage is brilliant (what else can I say?) by the Young brothers. Has an air off the 'Stiff Upper Lip' album with its added aggression in the riffs. 10/10.
Track four is quite radio-friendly in comparison, 'Anything Goes'. It is fantastic and deserves a mention as a solid release if they decide to release it (which I believe they will). Fantastic musicianship and Brian's voice is on top form. 10/10.
Track five is another one of my favourites, the bass starts things off before Malcolm Young's power chords and brother Angus's lead playing over the top. Fantastic. It's called 'War Machine' and it's another top, top, track off what's proving to be a distinguished album. I love the heavier riffs, again reminiscent of the 'Stiff Upper Lip' days with a bit of 'Powerage' there somehow as well. 10/10.
Track six picks up where 'War Machine' stopped, again full of great riffs. This one's called 'Smash N Grab', and it's great. Again, you know what you're getting but it's always a great sound from a great band. 'Smash, grab and take it!' Johnson sings. 9.5/10.
Track seven is 'Spoilin' For A Fight'. This is more reminiscent of the Scott era somehow, with its riffs and its no-nonsense lyrics, but with a modern, contemporary twist. It's fantastic. Again, it's VERY heavy for AC/DC. 10/10.
So far, so good, then, a great AC/DC album. But what about the rest? Track eight is called 'Wheels'. It starts off brilliantly, but it isn't the strongest track overall, a tad disappointing in comparison to the previous songs, although the riffs are fantastic, it must be said. 9/10.
Track nine, 'Decibel' starts off with a simple yet unbelievable blues-rock riff, and it's a fantastic song. This slows down proceedings somewhat, but that's not a bad thing on a song like this. It's outstanding. 10/10.
Track ten is called 'Stormy May Day', which is good, very good in fact, and again, the Young brothers' musical chemistry shines through, with Cliff Williams's bass guitar lending a very useful hand. Phil Rudd's drumming is great - some say the best drummers are the ones who go unnoticed, well in all honesty Rudd's timing is impeccable. The only thing is that this song finishes on a bit of an anti-climax. But nevertheless, a solid 8.5/10.
Track eleven is called 'She Likes Rock N' Roll', and again is reminiscent of the Scott era, where it seems to be much more abrasive and purposeful than the usual Johnson era. The chorus is a bit messy in all honesty but it isn't that bad. Again, we see a mixture of 'Powerage' and 'Stiff Upper Lip' here. 8.5/10.
Track twelve is called 'Money Made'. We return to the blues-rock riffage seen earlier and it works. It has a great rhythm to it. 'Work, work, money made!' is prominent throughout. Having said that, the song never really gets going, and it gets a bit repetitive in all honesty. But it still earns a solid 8/10.
Track thirteen is called 'Rock N' Roll Dream'. At the beginning you could be forgiven for thinking it might be a sort of a ballad. But AC/DC don't do ballads - this is as close as you're going to get. It really gets going in a heavier way soon into the song. The chorus is heavy, and the song has a really accomplished feel to it. 10/10.
Track fourteen is heavier. It's called 'Rocking All The Way', and again it has a sublime rhythm to it. The musicianship is outstanding. It's quite predictable, but it's damn good stuff. Angus Young's solo is impeccable as usual, this time a bit longer than usual. 9/10.
Track fifteen, and the final track, is the title track, 'Black Ice'. This has had mixed reviews, but I like it. I like the original riff, and the rhythm to it is great. It's a heavy way to finish off an AC/DC album, if a little unspectacular. It's no 'Let There Be Rock', that's for certain, but neither was 'Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution' either. It's solid, and does the job better than most. 9/10.
Overall then, I love this album. AC/DC are back with a bang, heavier than they have been in years, and with some unbelievable riffs. For that I can't complain. Yes the tracks are shorter, but I'd prefer that than for them to drag on and for each to be a minute longer. Yes, Angus's solos are slightly short, he isn't showcasing it enough but there we go. At least when he does solo they are always brilliant (as we know it would be). Brian Johnson's voice is in fine form, and this is most definitely an album you need if you like good, undiluted, old-fashioned Rock and Roll!
Buy it. 9/10.