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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2012
Like their two previous outings, most of the songs grow on you and the album generally gets stronger with repeated plays. There's not a duff track on the album, but 'Confessor', 'Midnight Sun' & 'Common Man' stand out. 'The Giver' & 'Big Train' are also very strong and not far behind. Unfortunately there's not a track as 'epic'/outstanding as 'Song of Yesterday' {BCC's 'Stairway'....} from the 1st album, but several come pretty close. If you want modern mature rock, not necessarily always 'hard', with shades of Bad Company, Deep Purple, Led Zep, the Who, mixed in with their own particular sound, brilliantly constructed and superbly played and sung, then BCC are a band I recommend. Jason Bonham and Joe Bonamassa are particularly outstanding and Glen Hughes and Derek Sherinian are no slouches either! A 4 star performance, as are both the previous albums {my 5 stars are few and far between!}
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on 3 May 2013
While perhaps, according to some, not the most technically proficient album ever............I absolutely love it.

Yes I can hear many cliched influences - but what the hell, the wheel has already been invented and everything in music revolves around a limited number of notes so it's inevitable.

Were this vinyl it would be getting seriously close to wearing through.

Love it!
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on 7 January 2013
Better than the 1st, not as good as the second. So why the 5 stars? Because BCC are by far the best blues / rock band today. In my opinion the 2nd album is a classic, it sits easily in my top ten albums of all time. On Afterglow, Joe bonamassas' guitar playing is as tried and tested as an old friendship, he's endoubtedly the finest 'all genre' guitarist in the world today. Glenn hughes vocals are of a darker tone on this album but remain definitively Hughes. The slight downside for me is that the album seems to tame Jason Bonhams ability, just when you think he is going to cut loose he seems as if he has been restrained a little. Even though I'm critical of this album, say, compared to BCC2, it's still worthy of 5 stars in my opinion because they are still way ahead of the back. So, in summary 'Afterglow' is more of the same but with a darker tone. Afterglow
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on 1 November 2012
This album ,BCC's third,yet again is of fantastic high quality.'Big Train' the 1st track,is a bit stop -start,but as with the rest of the album well worth listening to.It may not be as immediately bombastic as the previous 2 albums,but there is plenty here for blues-based,classic rock fans to enjoy ,Massive riffs,super hooks, melodys & fabulous powerhouse drumming from Jason Bonham,(Check out 'This is your Time',&'The Giver' 2 massive songs that for me sum up this great band,brilliantly ).The whole band is on fire!However,special mention has to go to the singing of Glenn Hughes,which is totally amazing,words cannot describe how great it is.Considering his age,lifestyle issues of the past, & unlike many of his peers Plant,Coverdale,Gillan,Rodgers etc, Glenn Hughes voice seems to be stronger & stronger than ever before.(Sure, Paul Rodgers still sings well,but his gigs are very short & most of the singing on the 'hits' are done by the audience)that comment should annoy some people,ha,ha.Highlights??Nearly all of it.Only 'Crawl' doesnt do it for me at the moment,but the epic'The Circle','Cry Freedom''Common Man' are superb.This band in a different time would have been enormous,alas it's not to be.Bonamassa,clearly is'nt as committed to the group as much as the others ,hence the ego tensions & frustrations at the lack of touring plans,due to Joe's solo career.As a Bonamassa cynic myself,I have seen him solo & he's very,very good, but I'm not sure he's as great as Planet Rock & Classic Rock would have us believe,yet here his playing is wonderful,no doubt about it. Huge,huge pity if this is to be the end.This is THE Classic/Blues Based Heavy Rock album of the year & not only that, this is the best NEW band of the last 5 years.Sorry Chickenfoot,The Union,The Answer,Rival Sons,BCC are the VERY BEST!!
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Black Country Communion are a British/American supergroup named after the Black Country area of England from which their singer and drummer hail, who play a classic rock sound that is rooted firmly in the 1970s but with a few modern twists, and who are rather prolific, having released three studio albums and a live album/DVD/Blu-Ray in just three years.

2012's Afterglow is the band's third full-length studio album. As with all the band's previous work, the album was produced by Kevin Shirley and the line-up consists of Glen Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Sabbath) on bass and vocals, modern Blues icon Joe Bonamassa on guitar and occasional vocals, Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Alice Cooper, Yngwie Malmsteen) on keyboards and Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin reunions, Jimmy Page, The Firm, Paul Rogers, UFO) on the drums.

This third album is still very much in the 1970s bluesy rock mould of the band's previous work, but there are a few twists and turns musically, into funk, soul and rnb territory adding variety and colour to the existing formula. There is a bit of a lush orchestral touch on a few songs as usual and in general, the album does the best job it can of balancing keeping what makes the band so good in the first place with not becoming stale.

Conscious of not repeating the structural formula of their previous work too closely either, the album doesn't open with a speedy hard rock number (`Black Country' & `The Outsider') although they still managed to write such a track and release it as the albums first single (`Confessor') but let it hang back a little later in the running order.

The album once more has a different feel than the previous two in that Joe Bonamassa contributed less music and Jason Bonham contributed more than previously, and then on top of that, the album originally started out as a Glen Hughes solo album before being reworked into a band effort.

The album has generated some non-musical press because the band members disagree publicly about touring in support of the album, as the band normally have to fit touring around Joe Bonamassa's hectic schedule but they released this particular album at an inconvenient time for Joe. Regardless, while context is interesting, an album realistically ought to be judged on musical merit alone and so its probably best not to let that touring-argument influence your opinion.

At the end of the day; everybody will have their own opinion of this album, whether that be that it is the best thing they ever done, a giant disappointment or just average. In my personal opinion the album is an absolute masterstroke and I love it more with each listen.

From the bouncy moments like `Cry Freedom,' to the funky `Big Train,' and the hard closer `Crawl' every track on the album is enjoyable, the music and vocals are utterly sublime and the production is brilliant sounding. Just like, and perhaps even a little more so than the two albums which preceded it, it just sounds like a classic album. Just listening to the brief guitar solo on the title track, or the main riff on `The Giver' gives off the feel of something that I've known and loved for years even on the first listen.

Overall; I highly recommend this album if you like the band. If possible try to disregard the press surrounding the touring and just enjoy the well-crafted music. Furthermore; if you can get it for a good price, try and get the special edition version which has a DVD with some music videos and more importantly an enjoyable 45-minute making-of documentary with a lot of studio footage, where you can hear them working out tracks like `Dandelion' on acoustic guitars before hand and having a bit of fun between takes.
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on 12 December 2012
Black Country Communion have produced an excellent album of classic rock which has been eagerly bought up by the fans, but unfortunately it seems that may prove to be their swansong rather than the takeoff which they deserve. Joe Bonamassa's guitar talents which have been tirelessly honed with hours of practice and live shows come to the fore on this album and combine deliriously with the unique vocal stylings and folk tinged bass playing of Glenn Hughes, alongside Jason Bonham's dynamic drumming and Derek Sherinian's techincal wizardry on the keyboards. However, it seems that Joe's prodigious output with his solo work means that they will be unable to tour this album. Indeed the lyrics on this album largely derive from the pen of Glenn Hughes and have been revised accordingly in the studio by the band, so it could be said that the album is a solo album with special guests. However, despite its' disparate birth this is a cohesive album which deserves to be hear by any fan of classic rock.
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on 25 September 2016
There are quite a few differing opinions about this album but for me this is there best yet! Great riffs, thunderous drums and bass and Glenn Hughes vocals have never sounded better! Also has an interesting dvd.
Recommended for all rock fans!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 October 2012
I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 because there are a couple of songs I don't like and it is not a reflection on the quality of the album itself. Others reviewing this may love all the tracks, making it worthy of 5 stars. This is ONLY my opinion.

The songs are well crafted and the playing is tighter and more focused than the previous 2 albums. On the DVD they say they are aiming for a 1979 sounding album and to a great extent I think they have achieved this. Musically it is superb, but what would you expect from 'Rock Royalty'.

The DVD alone makes this album worth buying. The 45 minute 'making of' documentary shot with a semi-sepia look is interesting, informative and gives a great incite into the production of the album, the background of the group and the individual relationships between the guys. The DVD is topped off with 4 music video's of 'Afterglow', 'Confessor', 'Midnight Sun' and 'This is your time'

IMHO this is a great album and shows a definite progression for this Supergroup. OK so there are a couple of songs I personally don't care for but so what, don't let that put you off buying this album.
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VINE VOICEon 15 November 2012
First, the good news - this will probably be the last studio album from BCC!
Now the bad news (if you've parted with your cash but not yet received this album) -this is not a great album by any stretch of the imagination. IMHO it is OK and that's about it, bearing in mind who makes up the four component parts of this band - it draws (I almost said "rips off") too heavily on Zeppelin and, as I have said before, if I wanted to listen to Zeppelin, then I would far, far rather put a Zeppelin album into my player.
Bonamassa is outside of his comfort zone (again) for a large part of this assembly of tunes and Sherinian (again) buried lowdown in the mix. Bonham kicks things along nicely, but I think more than anything, it is the screeching vocals of Glenn Hughes that really irk, seemingly unable to add much pitch and variation into his vocals - and indeed, maybe it is because he wrote much of what is here, it is all too samey!
That all said, "The Circle" is a pretty good track, standing head and shoulders above the rest (even though Glenn does resort to a lot of shrieking at the very extreme end of his capabilities - really, a few shrieks would be fine...but there is a limit to tolerance).
Doubtless, this will be praised to the rafters - but really, if you were around in the heyday of rock, you'll know that this is not as good as it could have been.
And a bonus DVD doesn't really make up for anything either.
Disappointed - I most certainly am!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 November 2012
Had this for a few days and listened to it several times now,lets cut to the chase its not as good as BCC 2,several tracks dont hit the spot-'Big Train','Cry Freedom','Dandelion',they sound under developed and hurried,'Big Train' in particular is a really poor choice as opener.

The rest however is pretty good and in some cases superb, the best being The Zep strut of 'This Is Your Time'(should have opened the album) and the equally impressive WHO influenced 'Midnight Sun' both of which contain excellent playing from Bonamassa.The albums standout is of course the title track,once you got beyond the jaw dropping Zeppelin mimicry,its a beautiful piece in its own right,while 'Confessor' does indeed utilise a riff similar to AC/DC's 'Fire Your Guns' but lets be honest,BCC put the riff to far greater use.

There's nothing particularly 'new' or innovative about this release,the band as ever wearing their influences like a heart on their sleeve,for the most part this comes across as a nod to the past rather than copycat(although the title track comes close).

The rest well played,executed but nothing that jumps up and grabs you as outstanding,would have like Sherinan to have had a much bigger role,he only really comes to prominence on the final two tracks 'The Giver' & 'Crawl'.In terms of stars its probably 3.5 rather than 4.

The bonus disc contains a 45 min documentary on the making of the album,its ok ,a one or two time watch at best plus 4 videos for arguably the albums 4 best tracks.

In hindsight its easy to say at times this sounds like a Hughes solo disc that was rushed out as a BCC ,its a moot point wether Bonamassa contributing lyrics would have made it a better disc,its obvious that Hughes has enjoyed his return to the top of the tree and would like the band to thrive while Joe has his solo career as his bread and butter.

Like i said in another review supergroups like chocolate teapots dont last long,we should enjoy what we got,an average debut,a stunning 2nd album,superb live disc and a decent finale.If it is the end,then they've went out neither with a bang nor a whimper,just like they arrived here one minute gone the next.

Hughes has a decision,he could carry the band on with a new guitar player(c'mon take the bull by the horns ask Page!!)
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