Black Swamp Water - 'Chapter One'

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Black Swamp Water - 'Chapter One'

If a certain Danish beverage brand did gimmick-free, biker-friendly Rock 'n' Roll...

To say that the Fireworks & Rocktopia crew (and almost certainly you, the reader) are partial to the Kingdom of Sweden's Rock output is an understatement, one on a par with saying that Lemmy Kilmister had the odd vice! While the Swedes are undoubtedly the best known purveyors of Scandinavian Rock, their neighbours Norway, Finland and Denmark are certainly noteworthy, thanks to internationally heralded exports such as Jørn, Reckless Love and White Lion's Mike Tramp respectively. Of those aforementioned nations, it's the Dane's edgier Rock 'n' Roll that strays furthest from the glossy, hook-laden Pop/Rock of the Swedes, and suggests a musical dynamic that's significantly wider than the ten mile Øresund Bridge that separates the two countries.

Hailing from Silkeborg, on Denmark's Jutland peninsula, Black Swamp Water's Rock interpretation dismisses any superfluous frills in favour of a juggernaut rhythm section, twin guitars – set to either brutal or acoustic – and Bjørn Bølling Nyholm's tough, no-nonsense vocals.

Opener 'Leave Nothing Behind' passes by without leaving much impression, though second track 'Harmless', with its double bass drum salvo and Zakk Wylde-style distorted licks, is a significant improvement. 'World On Fire' combines tight, twin-axe riffing with a chorus that brings to mind The Almighty during their early The Cult-inspired phase, whilst the slide guitar intro on 'Life Is Pain' gives way to a moody, greasy-jeaned parable of plight. 'Into The Fire' sees Nyholm add a bruised, Johnny Cash-like vibrato to his repertoire, with the song going from acoustic reflection to a big, bold chorus backed by a Doomy, Black Sabbath-style groove. Closer 'Let It Go' is maybe the best moment from 'Chapter One' thanks to the fluid guitar melody that interweaves the song's framework.

If a certain Danish beverage brand did gimmick-free, biker-friendly Rock 'n' Roll...

Caesar Barton

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