Norway tends to be known for music a lot darker than what is put on show by Audrey Horne, a band that is full of musicians from the far more snow driven bleak forests of black metal, of most note Enslaved’s Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen of Sahg.
Kicking the windows out straight away with some great 70s Thin Lizzyesque twin guitar harmonies, ‘This is War’ gets the album rollicking with thunderous bass guitar courtesy of Espen Lien galloping away like Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, driving the song in the clean direction you will have come to expect if you have heard the band before. ‘Audrevolution’ is Audrey Horne putting the stamp on who they are musically: an unafraid and unchanging devotion to the hard rock sounds of the 70s and 80s, even if the lyrics can be cringeworth.
As Blackout progresses the music get better and better, bringing with it a simple hard rocking feeling of joy like Motörhead, Thin Lizzy and earlier Iron Maiden before them: think stomping meaty riffs with a thick bass-driven under current. Audrey Horne manage to avoid ballad territory, constantly switching the pace and coming close on slower paced tracks such as ‘This One’ and ‘California’ while also driving some of their best tunes in the middle of the album with the one-two of ‘Midnight Man’ and ‘Light Your Way’.
Blackout sounds like a band thoroughly enjoying themselves but it really ramps up for the final track ‘Rose Alley’ with clapping and cheering as if it was recorded live in a bar room somewhere. It just feels less laboured than the last couple of releases and as a consequence is a great listen. The sort of album made for a lazy Saturday session with your mates around the esky, or the wind down on the way home from work.
- This Is War
- This One
- Midnight Man
- Light Your Way
- Rose Alley
- Juggernaut (Bonus)
- The End (Bonus)