Jersey City’s own Black Wail releases Chromium Homes on December 15 on Rhyme & Reason Records. It’s a six song album and one helluva a ride. In a short amount of space, the band shows us that they have an awful lot to offer and nicely bridge gaps between rock n roll, prog and metal. “They” is a groovy opening track with smooth vocals that invoke a mellower Lenny Kravitz. In fact, as I listened to this song and the record and I thought to myself that a Lenny tour with Black Wail opening would be more than perfect.
“Thee Ghost” is my favorite track on the record. Bram Teitelman channels early 80’s Gary Numan on the keyboards while Susan Lutin just gets a tremendous tone on the bass. Lutin and lead vocalist Tarlazzi come together to blend some beautiful vocal harmonies in the middle of the cut and Tarlazzi’s quick leads add an additional layer of texture.
Lutin’s bass plays center stage on “Chromium Homes” bringing together a bit of Geezer Butler influence mixed with John Paul Jones. Bram gets a real nice 70’s sound out of the keys that are going to fill your mind with images of Yes and ELO. Black Wail proves that they can rock out pretty hard as well with “Radioactive Mutation,” which is an edgy track with some intense lead guitar work interjected between a wealth of time changes that keep the listener engaged through a mystical ride. The middle portion of the song is a traditional rocker with a 1984-esqe vibe that makes it a prime contender for the Stranger Things 3 score.
What’s most impressive about Chromium Homes is the musicianship and the mixing. I love that I can hear all the instruments and at appropriate levels. Susan Lutin is a bonafide star. Period. The record certainly has a trippy vibe throughout but blends in so many different elements and influences and thankfully there is no self-indulgent excessively long jam here. The songs are biting, full of hooks and don’t overstay their welcome. Opeth should take note.
Chromium Homes is out tomorrow on Rhyme & Reason Records. It can be preordered here.