Sunday 29 October 2023


Desert Psychlist loves the timbre and tone of a strong female voice powerfully soaring over music of a dank dark and heavy nature, there is something about that contrast that sends shivers of delight hurtling down our spines. Given that statement it will come as no surprise to find us waxing lyrical on the virtues of an album containing such dynamics that we discovered literally an hour before writing this review. The album in question is "Black Glow", the debut release from a Mexican trio going by the very same name. Black Glow hail from Monterray and consist of Gina Ríos (guitar/vocals); Oscar Saucedo (bass) and Octavio Diliegros (drums), the band jam a groove that should appeal to fans of Witch Mountain, Windhand and bands of that ilk, a dark seductive doomic groove enhanced by powerful velvety smooth vocal tones.

 "Gone" is the song choice Black Glow went with when deciding what should open their debut album. and it was an inspired choice given its climbing/descending guitar refrains, thundering heavy percussion and its soaring swaying vocals, if ever there was a song that compelled you to listen to a whole album then "Gone" is THAT song. "Epsilon" follows and justifies that compulsion with thick syrupy bass and solid drumming forming the platform from which crunchy chord progressions support a wafting and seductive vocal. For "More mg" Black Glow add a touch of drone to their repertoire as well as some elements of shoegaze like texturing, Rios responding to those dynamics by adding a haunted quality to her vocal delivery. Next up is "Next To You" a haunting lament built around a repetitive bass and guitar refrain over which is delivered a vocal that leans towards symphonic in places and operatic in others. Closing number "Obscured Jail" finds Saucedo and Diliegros laying down a solid backdrop of tight groove and rhythm for Rios to decorate with guitar textures that have an element of folk and Americana in their make-up and are mirrored by vocals showing a similar dynamic, totally different from what has gone before this song promises much for the bands future development.

 Black Glow are not the finished article quite yet, there are places where the bands could have dialled down the repetition a touch and added a little more diversity but that's just a minor niggle. On the whole this is a stunning debut from a band who if they show a bit more of the ambition and bravery exhibited on last track "Obscured Jail" could well one day be rubbing shoulders with some of the scenes biggest hitters. 
Check 'em out ...

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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