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Black Acid Souls - "Deadly Sins" (CD)

Black Acid Souls - "Deadly Sins" CD cover image

"Deadly Sins" track listing:

1. Steel And Thunder (4:32)
2. Deadly Sins (5:55)
3. Black Acid Soul (3:36)
4. No Mans Land (6:32)
5. Lies In Your Eyes (5:14)
6. Shadow Of A Raven (4:19)
7. Wasted (6:04)
8. Rise Up (4:16)
9. Life And Death (3:38)
10. Porn Star (3:21)
11. Precious Possession (5:30)
12. Circus Of Bitch (3:39)
13. Seekers Blood (3:58)

Reviewed by on August 30, 2012

"The band presents an interesting style of 'refreshed hard rock' that should reel in fans looking for something just a little different."

One of the hardest things for a writer to do is to pass judgment on a hard working band. U.K.’s Black Acid Souls has feverishly worked long and hard on its debut self-released “Deadly Sins” and what results is an enjoyable heavy/hard rock release that is not without its flaws. Sporting infectious riffs and a mix of traditional and modern rock, as well as metal with a dash of grunge paired with Dean “Flakey” Handyside’s odd - albeit memorable - vocals, the band will surely fetch fans of hard rock, traditional metal, and post grunge. All in all, Black Acid Souls has cast a solid line into the lake hoping to fish a record deal and a horde of fans.

The album opens with the “Steel & Thunder” laying down a nice groove until Handyside kicks in his odd vocals that sound a bit like Mike Muir with a mid-range drone that can tend to wear on the listener. The blazing, rockin’ riffs of the eponymous “Black Acid Souls” represents my favorite on the release, the verses of which are like a modern rock remake of “Black Widow,” especially the way Handyside performs it. On nearly every listen, I cannot stop my mind from singing “These words he speaks are true, We're all humanary stew....” as Handyside sings “The dark is where they hide, the darkness of you mind” - it’s a near perfect fit. Of course, this is the only part of the song similar to the Alice Cooper classic, however it does have a nice blend of driving riffs with many well placed pauses in the chorus that I find hard not to thoroughly enjoy.

The album forges ahead with “No Man’s Land” and “Lies in Your Eyes” where that mid-paced intone really kicks in, especially on the latter. While “Lies” does get a bit stuck in the mud on the verses, the band whips out some seriously groovy riffs and presents the album’s best guitar solo. Towards the second half of the song, Handyside puts a little grit on his vocals, which was highly enjoyable. “Rise Up” ranks right up there with “Black Acid Souls” - a traditional metal blaster! When the band drives forth in this proverbial “straight line” without getting mired in choking riffs, it’s hard to stop listening.

Other notable tracks are “Shadow of the Raven” (with its Megadeth "In My Darkest Hour" opening volley) the crushing riffs of “Life and Death” (with its “groove smackdown” at 1:46) and “Precious Possession” (with a riff straight from Hallow’s Eve’s “D.I.E.” just following the chorus at 2:27) and the energetic charge of “Circus of Bitch.” I will note that it was refreshing to see a self-funded release with good production and fullness of sound with a little extra crisp on the guitar.

There is plenty to enjoy on “Deadly Sins” and it grows on me with each listen, though I admit it took me a bit to catch on to what Black Acid Souls was dealing. The band presents an interesting style of “refreshed hard rock” that should reel in fans looking for something just a little different. With “Deadly Sins” at 13 tracks, it is a shame that after all these years the Catholic church only warned me about seven.

Highs: Nice refresh on hard rock and traditional metal.

Lows: The vocals can drain the listener a bit the a mid-level drone.

Bottom line: 13 "Deadly Sins?" That's six more than I was taught!

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)