Black Stone Cherry // The Human Condition // Album Review
Everyone’s favorite Southern Rock band Black Stone Cherry are back with their latest offering The Human Condition, born in the shadows of Covid-19, 19 years on and 7 studio albums the guys feel that The Human Condition is somewhat a cathartic and important process. “There was a real urgency and fear of the unknown during those sessions—it was a scary time,” recalls drummer, John Fred Young. “Every song on this album tells a story of the experiences we all go through—our happiness, our struggles, and how we have to adapt.” Sonically, The Human Condition is also one of BSC’s most visceral and hooky albums. Adds guitarist/vocalist Ben Wells: “With this one, we cranked up the amps, the drums are in your face, and there are some really heavy riffs. After 19 years and 7 albums, we wanted to prove that we still kick ass. This album feels like a rebirth.”
A darker more emotive take on their signature sound, there is a vicious intent in the albums opener ‘Ringing In My Head’ that sets the tone, Chris Robertson’s fierce vocal delivery and wailing guitar work along with a seriously heavy backline make for a bitchin’ start to the album. That continues with ‘Again’ that hefty sound, thrashing guitars, and heavy weighted vocal delivery all make for a hard-hitting track. As promised, the guys really have dug deep with those heavy melodies, pummelling you track by track with glorious easy on the ear hooks whilst bruising you with every punishing beat. There is no let-up at all, relentless in its intensity this album just delivers again and again and you just know these beauties are going to transfer to the live stage, ‘In Love With The Pain’ will no doubt be a fan-fav as they sing back the vocals to the guys when they finally get their asses back on stage and on the road.
The pace doesn’t really let up until we hit ‘If My Heart Had Wings’ where we get a rare time to catch our breath as they bring all that southern charm for 3 minutes 15 seconds, but that is short-lived before the amps are cranked as they bring it all home with four more bangers to wrap up one of their finest recordings in recent years. It is great to see the guys forging on ahead with a release of this quality, so badly needed in these screwed up times, an album which will be received with open arms by established fans and newbies alike.