Black Country Communion – V – Album Review

Black Country Communion

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On 14 June 2024
Last modified:14 June 2024


Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, & Derek Sherinian come together to release their first new album in 7 years - V!

A good few years ago it seemed like Black Country Communion were no more after the “big fallout” – that would have been a huge shame.  Fortunately they kissed and made up and the result was the cracking IV.  Fast forward another seven years (their longest gap between albums) and this occasional supergroup has gathered once more for the imaginatively titled V.  The drip fed preview tracks – singles? – have certainly wetted my appetite for this album.

The first thing that struck me is the cover.  Gone are the stylings of old to be replaced with a simpler, darker picture of the stars, a V space ship and our home, Earth, occupying the bottom right corner.  Even the logo has been replaced by simple type face.  A wise move?  I am not so sure, I am definitely underwhelmed and am thinking the artwork to Stay Free would have made a better cover.  But at the end of the day it is the music that does the talking so let’s dive in…

A pulsing synth sound from Derek Sherinian underpins the opening track, Enlighten, Joe Bonamassa slides his way through the solo, it’s a great start.

Stay Free has more than just a nod to Led Zeppelins Trampled Underfoot, Sherinian’s funky clavinet along with understated rhythm playing from Bonamassa gives room for Glenn Hughes voice to shine through.

Next up, with it’s deep grinding groove, is Red Sun.  With it’s 70’s feel it is classic BCC, Hughes showing he is still the voice of rock, powerful stuff.

To my ears Restless would be more at home on a JoB album but Hughes voice makes this slow blues song rise high.

Short and sweet, Letting Go is punchy and has a great singalong chorus. It features another blistering Bonamasa solokoo and is the song I have gone back to replay the most.  The ending is sudden.

The opening dual riffage from Sherinian’s organ and Bonamassa’s guitar is well balanced, Skyway reaches out aurally and sounds refreshing yet familiar at the same time.

Jason Bonham’s count in to You’re Not Alone is predictable but belies what cometh… it’s funky groove is infectious and my body moves along, yet the drums have a subtle brutality that drive the song with Glenn’s gnarly bass really seeping through.

The opening organ riff initially has me thinking of Zep’s Thank You but Love And Faith soon changes course to become a solid rocker with Sherinian switching to piano for much of it.

Like a race car, the fast pace of Too Far Gone grips like it is running on fresh Michelins.  Yet driving along the The Open Road to the end of the album we get added cowbell; play that funky music Black Country Communion.  Glenn Hughes sounds better with each song – he may not have the high pitch of his Deep Purple days but he still has the power. 

Overall V is heavy and funky, it rocks and grooves along wonderfully.  Led Zep’s DNA is all over it, more so to my ears than any of their previous albums.  And that is no bad thing as this four piece has moulded it into their own distinctive sound with their individual personalities shining through.  And the playing is absolutely solid, ego’s are out the door for the good of the band and the music.

Is it their best album?  No, to my ears they are unlikely to top their remarkable debut album, but V definitely comes in at the number two spot!

I, like many others, would love to see this band play live more, some dedicated touring could see them become a massive act.  Will it happen?  Who knows?  I count myself lucky to have seen them twice already but three times would be a charm.

I’ve now lived with the album for a few days and I have to say V is the gift that keeps on giving – I enjoyed it so much I ordered the vinyl… and you should too!

Glenn Hughes – bass and lead vocals
Joe Bonamassa – guitars
Jason Bonham – drums
Derek Sherinian – keyboards

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Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, & Derek Sherinian come together to release their first new album in 7 years - V!

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