Wim R. : After their first release ‘Chapter One’ back in 2016, Danish act Black Swamp Water unleashes their second album ‘Distant Thunder’. In the last years we see musicians who release albums and music that is very different from the band they originally belong to. In this case it is drummer Kim Langkjaer Jensen, who gathered some fame with death metal acts like Dawn Of Demise or Illdisposed With Black Swamp Water old school rock, a bit of metal and southern rock are the main ingredients. That is a whole different ballgame.
Intro ‘Badlands’ makes it clear from the start what to except with its steel guitar intro. Production was handled by Christian Bonde Sorensen, he did a fine job to give the songs the necessary heaviness. Strong songs are ‘Live Your Darkness’ (with a nice fast part and some nice soloing), the more metal sounding ‘Rebellion’ and the impressive ‘The High Road’. Singer Bjorn Bolling Nyholm has a strong voice. His sound fits this type of music nicely. He is not a vocal acrobat, but he delivers the job. This album is not the most inventive, but I think that’s not the goal that Black Swamp Water is aiming for. They just wanted to release an album with good old rock and metal. And in that they succeeded. My guess is that the songs on ‘Distant Thunder’ will go down well live. What is strange about this album is that some of the songs have a very heavy southern rock influence, but other songs are totally stripped of it. You could call it versatile, but on the other hand it is difficult to pinpoint who will go for this album. But, to keep it all simple, is you like rock with a variety of influences, Black Swamp Water is worth checking out.