A menacing blood brother to ‘Highway To Hell’

Reopening an eight year wound, rock’n’roll royalty AC/DC have cut their fifteenth studio album ‘Black Ice’ with the same fundamental rock format that the veterans have been a kin to for their entire (highly successful) career.

‘Black Ice’ artlessly opens with the high rollers; first single ‘Rock’n’Roll Train’, a menacing blood brother to ‘Highway To Hell’ with a chorus that’s sung by the masses in unison to Brian Johnson’s (who personally penned the lyrics) looming cry followed by the slower paced ‘Skies on Fire’, a sexier jolt as Johnson’s “Hey, Hey, Hey” beckons Satan’s army through faultless production.

The chug of ‘War Machine’ and slide guitar in ‘Stormy May Day’ mark the mid-section of the record before the thick lingo of ‘Spoilin for a fight’ celebrates their Australian grit and the charging ‘Money Made’ notes the bands allegiance to the working class lug that spawned them. ‘Black Ice’ is the final kick, with a particularly devilish Angus Young solo, whose predatory presence is, and always will be crucial to AC/DC’s force.

And so, brassy and primal, AC/DC have spat familiar and fierce venom with ‘Black Ice’, this dark universal poison that’s previously pillaged genres to form bastardised offshoots of the same good stuff. One can’t possibly knock them for sticking with what they are rightfully the kings of, and so though ‘Black Ice’ ain’t walking on no new turf, AC/DC’s ability to rouse that instinct to be bad is a fresh as 1979.

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