David Reece is angry. And he’s got a lot to get off his chest. To do this, he’s chosen the medium of song, and more specifically his new album, Blacklist Utopia. Songs like Utopia, Civil War, I Can’t Breathe and American Dream aren’t backwards in coming forwards in stating Reece’s petition of grievances against any and all he feels stand in his way of living a peaceful life unencumbered by the cold, dead hand of the state.
If you are the sort of person who is uncomfortable having their opinions challenged, especially by a middle-aged long-haired man backed by loud musicians hellbent on stoving in your eardrums, then Blacklist Utopia might not be the album for you. If however, you like a bit of trad metal spiced-up by a committed performance from all concerned then I’d advise you to get involved as soon as you like.
Me? Well, I have to say it seems a trifle overconfident for a mid-division musician presumably reasonably reliant on their album sales to live that peaceful life with songs purposely designed to goad the prevailing wind of political thought, but I couldn’t give a monkey’s about Reece’s personal opinions as long as he brings the noise in a relatively competent fashion, and over the course of this record he certainly does that.
I Can’t Breathe, oafishly provocative title apart, is a genuinely good slice of mid-paced metal, the guitars designed to buoy Reece’s fine hard rock pipes; time and again you find yourself thinking how good the guitars are on this album; on every track Andi Susemihl delivers the goods with lithe riffage and stinging solos – he’s actually probably the star of the show despite this being an angry Dave solo album – with Most of the Time being an absolute standout for both singer and axe-slinging sidekick.
The Dioesque Before We Fade Away is very good too, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of Reece’s career since leaving Accept after the titanically underrated Eat The Heat album. The man knows how to craft good quality melodic hard rock and metal, and that’s just what he does time and again on Blacklist Utopia.
Blacklist Utopia releases on October 29th.