I vividly remember back in 2013 how much I enjoyed the debut album by Blacklands as they were magnificently combining melody with a dark, prog atmosphere that made the overall sonic result a quite fulfilling experience. I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of the female fronted groups but I was instantly hooked with the sheer brilliance of the Blacklands songs as they were well-crafted and the band members knew exactly how to present them in the most proficient way.
Three years since that release –and numerous line-up changes- Blacklands strikes back with its sophomore effort that is once again absolutely qualitative and I must say even better than its predecessor. The differential point this time around is the brilliant new singer Tanja Magolei Schuppe whose voice is both melodic and powerful. The musical climate of the CD is once again a little bit dark and at moments moody and the melodic progressive style of Blacklands is quite reminiscent of such artists as Steven Wilson & Neal Morse.
Personally, I distinguished the sensational structure of “Alone Again” that wonderfully blends prog, pop and why not gospel sounds, the flawless guitar parts of “The River” and the magnificent solo on “Drown In Darkness”. All in all, “Peaceful Shores” is a musical journey that combines various styles without losing its integrity. This could be the soundtrack of a potential documentary about snowy mountains, serene open seas and huge blooming landscapes. All the fans of the progressive rock sound should definitely check Blacklands out.
Highlight: You can find more info about the band and order the CD here: https://www.facebook.com/Progressive.Melodic.Rock/timeline