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Black Country Communion - Afterglow (2012)

af-ter-glow
noun

1. The pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc.

Perhaps it was foreshadowing or maybe they were well under way from being no more, but I cannot think of a more apt title for Black Country Communion's third and last studio album. It was recorded in June 2012 in five whirlwind days at Revolver Studio, Thousand Oaks, California with Kevin Shirley as producer.

Due to their virtually non-existent touring schedule as BCC, Glenn Hughes had approximately six months to write material. Although Hughes claimed that Afterglow was going to be a continuation from the first two albums, he was writing darker lyrics, with more drama and wanted to have more acoustic moments.

This album would definitely be considered to be included in the classic rock genre of the 1960s and 1970s, however it benefits from being in the 21st century, with the added experience from the band and the modern recording capabilities.

This album packs a huge load of groove and funk, thanks to drummer Jason Bonham and bassist/lead vocalist Glenn Hughes. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa adds virtuoistic blues noodlings that slices through the aural butter with a hot Gibson Les Paul. Although existent, I wish that Derek Sherinian's keyboards would have taken a more featured role on the album. With Sherinian's resume, I would have expected him to match more with Bonamassa's guitars.

It's hard not to compare BCC's efforts on this album to other bands, the keyboards and drums on Midnight Sun are very reminiscent of some of the anthems from The Who. The split vocal styling on Cry Freedom remind me of some of the vocals from Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill from ZZ Top. Plus, all of the songs have a healthy sprinkling of Led Zeppelin on them.

What a shame that this is most likely the last that we will be receiving from Black Country Communion. This is an extremely strong sounding album, both musically and lyrically, with no hint of fading away. It comes in with a huge, rhythmic punch and goes out with an angry, aggressive, groove-tacular stomp.

Afterglow was released on October 29, 2012 internationally and on October 30, 2012 in the United States on Bonamassa's J&R Adventures label.

Thanks for a great nearly three years and three albums.

Jeff Strawman
October 31, 2012

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
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December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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