Pakistan’s premier metal band Blackhour are releasing their second full length through Transcending Obscurity tomorrow. Which leads me to review it just in the nick of time. Their press blurb posits them as a mixture of classic Iron Maiden and modern Sentenced, which is definitely worth a listen. Five tracks, all over five minutes suggests a little bit of the epic about them too.
Opener ‘Losing Life’ has some great guitar leads, with fluid soloing and some interesting slower sections. There’s definitely dashes of Sentenced-esque melancholy in the slower sections. ‘Wind of Change’ starts with a very Powerslave-era Maiden riff, and the verses have some killer hooks. It’s a great slice of modern heavy metal, catchy and uplifting. If it’s not high on my list of heavy metal anthems by the end of this year, there must be some doozies to come. I love it.
The vast ‘Life Brings Death, Love Brings Misery’, the longest track here at over nine minutes, is a progressive epic. It builds slowly, even slipping in some harsher vocals, meshing more nice guitar harmonies and galloping riffs. It closes out with an almost hard rock feel to it, which works reasonably well. I must say, I prefer it when the band are firing on all metal cylinders, like in the rampant ‘Battle Cry’, but I appreciate the fact that they try different things.
Closing with the power balladry of the title track, before it kicks off into galloping vintage NWOBHM territory, Blackhour have crafted an anthemic slab of modern heavy metal, replete with classical influences but enough of their own identity to make it feel fresh. While coming across in parts as a bit soft, tracks like ‘Wind of Change’ are gonna be a hit with the metalheads in the pit.