What comes to mind when you think of Denmark? Bacon? Carlsberg? Pretty Maids? Lars Ulrich? Lego? The Little Mermaid? It’s pretty much that for me (no bacon for this vegan scribe though!). The country isn’t really known for its musical exports but that may be about to change with the release of Black Swamp Water’s third long player ‘Awakening’. The band have built up a solid following and their track ‘Bitter Harvest’ from their second album ‘Distant Thunder’ has over two million streams on Spotify…. impressive.

For their latest work the band have used producer Tue Madsen (Moonspell, Artillery, Dark Tranquillity) and the result is a crystal clear, punchy mix. A sound that ranges from Down style Southern sludge to traditional heavy metal with a touch of thrash thrown in shows that these boys don’t like to be pigeonholed. This proves to be problematic as I’ll discuss later in this review.

There are some great riffs thrown around and the first single released from the album ‘Endless War’ has a great drum intro (it sounds a bit like ‘Painkiller’) from Kim Langkjær Jensen who really showcases his ability. There’s a great horror-themed video to accompany it too. The only criticism from me is that there isn’t any coherence or continuity with the songs. I get that they are trying to be diverse, but I think the heavier, thrashier tunes suit the band more. The ballad ‘Send Me Away’ really feels out of place and doesn’t work in my opinion. A well-played but pointless cover of Sabbath’s ‘Children of the Grave’ doesn’t need to be here at all, we want more of your own material guys!!

Overall, it’s a decent effort with some solid heavy metal. The band needs to concentrate on what kind of metal band they are though. The guys are great musicians and work well as a unit, and hopefully, they will find their own niche soon. More THRASH, please!

Buy Black Swamp Water Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick