As the cold rains of winter begin to fall, a man gets to thinking about moving to a warmer climate. With that in mind, where might my thoughts wander? How about Brisbane, Australia? That’s where The Blackwater Fever hail from and, as they hit album number six with “Temptator!” could they tempt me away from the dampness that seems to forever surround me?
Given that I can work up a fair degree of enthusiasm for the wildly pretentious excesses of seventies style rock, I think they could. There are, after all, riffs of weight and volume aplenty to be found in “Temptator!” but this is an album with driven by more than guitar solos, drum solos and the potential for tour bus shenanigans. For a start, it’s an album where, instead of replaying yesterdays’ sentiments and styles verbatim, those influences are instead mixed into a grunge meets gothic cauldron seasoned with at least a dozen broken hearts. Hey, what’s a rock band without a heart and there is no doubt that The Blackwater Fever have such an organ in their hand with those dark and dirty, and so very world weary, vocals steering these songs ever closer to damnation and even temporary diversions like “Ode To Ol' John Doe” become, in reality, yet another signpost to the band’s final destination.
Albums like this deserve to be heard as they are more than they seem to be and, even if you don’t want to dig deep, you can just drink some beer and play this album loud. Really, really loud. Who knows? God might just request an encore to this one.