So the great Taneli Jarva of SENTENCED returned to the Metal scene after nearly five years of absence with his new band THE BLACK LEAGUE and the professional debut album entitled “Ichor”. One of the hardest comebacks in Metal History; unlike countless pathetic Metal re-unions, Mr. Jarva didn’t come crawling back, “Ichor” is his way of rocking the cradle into the new millennium, my god what an album!
THE BLACK LEAGUE plays an original form of music that’s on the edge of two musical genres. We’re talking about Rock and Metal painted with mean attitudes and balls so big they collect the sticky gum on the floor!
A bit of THE BLACK LEAGUE (kinda non-related but what the heck!) trivia first. In the booklet there’s usually a thank you list and this album is no exception... but the band clearly states that “In the event that the name of any possible individual is not included on this album, too damn bad, for this was absolutely the first and last time that we, The League thank anybody”, now how’s that for an attitude.
Songs like “One Colour Black”, “Blood Of The Gods” and “We Die Alone” have such great intensity and heaviness to them; this is no wonderland, it sure isn’t pretty but it never stops rocking my world from time to time. “Deep Waters”, “Night On Earth” and “The Everlasting – Part II” sound more chilled and laid back though far from being cheesy Rock ballads.
It’s good to hear Mr. Jarva voice again! Those trademark multi-layered vocals alternating between death growls and expressive shouts have always fascinated me, the vocals suit the music just as well as the music suits the vocals, we’ve got perfect symmetry here!!!
The band incorporates some minor Jazz and Blues influences into some songs, which people might find odd, but I tell you even that sounds fresh. Every member is very talented and gifted; Alexi Ranta and Maike Valanne work extremely well as a guitar duo and deliver some cool solos. The rhythm section is top notch consisting of Florida on the bass and Sir Luttinen on the drums.
The sound is awesome; the guitars are heavy, the drums are clear and the bass is also heard clearly. With “Ichor” the band invented a new genre: “Booze’n’Roll’n’Metal”. If you like brilliant music with attitude this one will please you that’s a promise, a masterpiece! BRING ON THE BOOZE!!! (Online August 19, 2004)