With so much new music out there presently, it takes something special to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Queue Kent-based rockers Black Roze, whose theatrical live performances have been a big hit with the HRH festival punters in recent times. Lead vocalist Viixen having a lot to do with this, and could quite easily be compared to the UK’s answer to In This Moment’s Maria Brink.
But the question on everyone’s lips for some time has been when will the debut Black Roze album land? Well, the wait is finally over, as the group unleash their ten-track release Spiritual Hell.
Throughout the record, the group explores various shades of darkness and light. The track In The Darkness is a testament to this, with two different takes of the song featuring on the album. Firstly, the fast and furious Hell Version has an old school metal flavour and builds with a ferocious pace and crunchy power chords. Whilst the Spiritual Version of the track has a beautifully atmospheric ambience which showcases lead vocalist Viixen’s spellbinding voice.
Black Roze have poured their heart and soul into this record, and their passionate delivery on opening track Obscenity emphasises this quality. The track also features some blistering and emotive playing from guitarist Baz Roze which sits perfectly on top of a tight drum beat. Whilst the dirty yet infectious groove of Godz ‘n’ Queenz locks the listener in. The latter is a real earworm, and you can’t get it out of your head, not that you would want to.
Tracks such as Why Don’t You and Curse of the Black Roze showcase the heavier side of the band’s songbook. And if you are curious about the aforementioned affliction then you can find out more about the backstory to the song in our interview with the band elsewhere in this issue.
The heartfelt ballad Soul on Fire and the brooding album closer Lost are very raw and personal compositions. Whilst the retro-sounding Snow White Angel has the qualities of a vintage love song. Both Baz and Viixen share vocal duties on the latter.
However, it is So Sleazy which stands out on the album. We may be a bit biased in this respect, but what’s not to love about a song that was inspired by a trip to HRH Sleaze. Who said that HRH never inspired anybody?
Spiritual Hell not only encapsulates both the band’s unrivalled creativity but also the wide musical spectrum within their repertoire. Black Roze are the definitive British sleaze rock band and if this is their musical version of hell, then as AC/DC once said ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’.