Italian threesome BLACK MAMBA have been around since at least 2011, honing their craft in the rehearsal room and and on stage for many years, with a stated 150+ live shows under their belt so far. “Heritage” is their debut album, and was self released towards the end of 2017.
Reading up on a band’s stated influences is always a fun exercise, trying to figure out what first and what doesn’t a part of that. In this case Rush tops the list, followed by bands such as Foo Fighter, Muse and System of a Down. Which, I guess, is appropriate, although it doesn’t reveal quite as much about this band as one might figure.
Their chosen style resides firmly inside the hard rock universe somewhere. An expressive variety of hard rock, true enough, but hard rock more than anything else. The stated impact from Rush can be heard in bass lines and bass sound, and to some extent guitar textures as well. Not as an ongoing, dominant aspect of the proceedings, but as a part of the totality. From Muse we have a big, subtly dramatic sound and something of a stadium feel, while System of a Down might be the source of the staccato, aggressive details of their sound. With Foo Fighters a likely source for the occasional grunge-tinged details.
The band is rather fond of adding funky details to this mix, at times giving the songs something of a Red Hot Chili Peppers feel, on other occasions a bit more of a sensual No Doubt atmosphere will be a part of the proceedings. Black Mamba are also fond of expressive instrument details and quirky passages, and will opt for the occasional non-conventional song structure to boot. They aim, apparently, to be creative and expressive from the get go.
The end result is an interesting album on many levels. Powerful vocals, expressive and adventurous songs explored within a hard rock context, and a band that is tight and secure in their performance. As far as my opinion is concerned, they haven’t quite managed to blend their various influences onto a totality that manage to elevate the end result on to a higher level just yet, but there’s no denying the talent, and that this is a band that is ambitious. If you like your hard rock to be expressive, adventurous and with a funky backbone, chances are you’ll find this threesome to be an interesting acquaintance.
My rating: 60/100
Heritage // Never Obey // Loop // Wreckage // Lost in Translation // The Lie // Pills in the Sun // Revenge // The Golden Cat // What is Untold