Captain Black Beard are back with a new album titled Sonic Forces releasing on May 15th.
The first change fans will notice with Sonic Forces is Martin Holsner on vocals. This is the bands third vocalist over their time together. Most recently vocals were covered by Linnea Vikström [Therion] until the change early last year on tour then followed by the formal announcement in April 2019 that Holsner had been made a formal member of the band.
For all fans, the absolute notable change with this album is that change from female back to male vocals, but that is how the band originally started out so it will not be a complete shock to listeners who have followed Captain Black Beard since the beginning.
With that said, this is a great album and the change of vocals has actually been a positive direction for the band’s sound. Vikström, although a great vocalist, I never truly felt like her vocals fit with Captain Black Beard’s sound. With Holsner, I feel the band has their strongest line up yet. His vocals bring a different element to their sound. He has this raw edge in his vocals that allows him to go from a rough edge to a pitchy tone that really works well with the music. After hearing him I had to check out the new video Headlights to see how he fits visually with the band and I am really pleased with what I watched. His look, movements and presence really work with the rest of the band members movements, especially this intent look he does with his eyes, his mannerisms really make the visual side of the band feel complete.
Sonic Forces has ten tracks. I felt that eight tracks were great and that two fell a little flat and felt like they could have easily been left off the album and made the album a much stronger release. Because of those two tracks, I couldn’t give this a perfect score, which I really felt that I would have without the tracks Young Hearts and Emptiness. Compared to the other tracks, it just felt like they were not at the same level as the others which was a bit confusing why they were there.
I was immediately blown away by the track Time To Deliver. It reminded me of earlier Eclipse releases that I really loved, but with keyboards added to them. This track is what I would love to see more of from this band. Truly a great stand out track.
This album has great tempos that lend to great upbeat tracks that will fill listeners with energy and the urge to get up and move to the music. There are classic AOR elements infused with creative arrangements, fun lyrics, tons of energy, and solid riffage blended with great melodies.
In summary, this is a solid AOR album. I think fans will be intrigued with the new vocals and the way it has changed the bands overall sound. I know I will be listening to this album for some time. It’s truly fun listening experience.
Captain Black Beard
Titel: Sonic Forces
Skivbolag: AOR Heaven
Bästa låtar: Time To Deliver, Midnight Cruiser, Gotham City
Christian Ek – guitar
Martin Holsner – vocals
Robert Majd – bass
Vinnie Stromberg – drums