Cold Black River

Album Title: Hillbilly Zeus
Record Label: Cold Black River
Review by Sal Serio
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Cold Black River - Hillbilly ZeusCold Black River - Hillbilly Zeus

Behold the five song teaser CD by the formidable Madison hard rock trio Cold Black River. Not only is the river cold and black, the album artwork [by Tessa Najjar] is stark black and white pen and ink pointillism, portraying a seedy and somewhat disturbing side of swampy Southern culture.

The music itself is not necessarily black, but it is certainly very dark. An apocalyptic mood hangs over these intense tracks. Eric Cobb’s vocal gives the impression of a high priest chanting invocations at a Satanic ritual, or perhaps he’s the radio announcer on a tour through Hell.

Drummer Aaron Kanitz drives these throbbing compositions with a fevered and fervored pace, which constructs the bridge over the cavernous abyss created by the looming, spacious, riffs. Cobb’s eerie vocal again conjures up a horror show visual in this allegory, like he is the demonic presence that demands an unholy sacrifice from all who wish to cross over to the other side. Indeed, the title track, “Hillbilly Zeus”, includes the lyric, “Got to pay the ferryman, no one rides for free”. This music should scare the shit out of the kids when they come ‘round trick or treating this Halloween! [Adding new emphasis to the Charlie Brown saying, “I got a rock!”]

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