In the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, the commercial “terrestrial” airwaves are littered with country, pop, hip-hop, and classic rock stations and have been for years. Nonetheless, for a long time, there has been an ever growing population of musicians and music fans in the area with a hunger for heavier music. Even with little to no support from traditional radio, heavy metal survived in the area. Of course now with the advent of satellite radio, and even more so with the versatile and seemingly limitless internet radio available, we are no longer tethered by the restraints of traditional radio. Even still, for all this time there has been a strong following for heavy metal in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Perhaps what kept it together and allowed it to flourish is the incredible brotherhood of the musicians and fans that make up this community. Those on the inside that share a mutual respect and admiration for one another and their music are inspiring to say the least. Jealousy and animosity are almost non existent. Achievements as well as set backs and tragedies affect all in the community. Ask anyone in the circle and they will tell you … it is a family. One of the most respected and admired in this family is the heavy metal trio known as Homicide Black, who will release their second studio album, a four song ep, entitled “HBII” on October 28.
Homicide Black are Sean Nestor – lead vocals and guitar, Jazz Byers – drums, and Mike Loborec – bass. To give you an idea, they dwell in the realm of doom and damnation, but are not entirely held captive there. Nestor’s vocal style can be best described as a hybrid of Dio (yes) and Blackie Lawless. That being said, lets get on with their latest offering.
Track 1: “Where My Demons Lie” begins with a brief guitar intro with the feel of an old west tale being told. When the rhythm section kicks in, the song explodes with all the power and fury of a shootout in the center of town. At this point, you realize HB is the real deal. This is one of those songs that can give you goose bumps when you crank it. The talent of this three piece shines on this tune about a gambler who crosses the wrong man and suffers the consequences (or is it a metaphor?) This song alone can carry the rest of the album, but it doesn’t need to. Track 2: Next comes a cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.” This is the same song we all know and love, but with a harder, crunchier delivery. Track 3: From there, we fall deep into the abyss with “Hate,” Nestor showcases some very impressive doom laden vocals. This song of despair and misery is very reminiscent of the early work Dio did with Black Sabbath. Track 4: They close it out with “Lifeless (But Beautiful)”, an uptempo song telling a story of hardship and tragedy in old school thrash style.
The content within “hbII” proves that Homicide Black are a talented band capable of being versatile. Each selection offers something a little different, while still complimenting each other.
There is no wonder they are so well respected by their peers. The only real down side to this release is the fact that there are only four songs and it leaves you wanting more. hbII delivers the goods and we should be seeing more of them in the future. Do yourself a favor and get your copy. You won’t be disappointed.
hbII track listing:
- Where My Demons Lie
- Somebody To Love
- Lifeless (But Beautiful)