Barbed Wire Soul

Blackstar - Barbed Wire Soul ©1997 Peaceville
1. Game Over
2. Smile
3. Sound Of Silence
4. Rock 'n' Roll Circus
5. New Song
6. Give Up The Ghost
7. Revolution Of The Heart
8. Waste Of Space
9. Deep Wound
10. Better The Devil
11. Instrumental

The history of this band is no secret. Blackstar (not a good name; I think there's a rap group with same name): Jeff Walker, Carlos Regadas and Ken Owen parted ways with Bill Steer, respectably ending the distinguished career of Carcass. So, the former three teamed up with ex-Cathedral guitarist Mark "Griff" Griffiths and Blackstar were born. Now the music. It sounds like a logical progression from Carcass' Swansong; really rock-n-roll, and potentially accessible, but still edgy enough for underground appeal. Moreso though on Barbed Wire Soul, an emphasis is placed on a blusy rock base, and catchy, colorful, appealing songs. The first three, and especially "Sound of Silence" (not a Simon & Garfunkel cover) bullseye remarkably. Walker's cleaner, but still marginally hoarse vocal approach melds perfectly with the feel of this whole sound, a sound I think Metallica may have been aiming for, without the cheese, of course.

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 12/1998

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