1. Black Rain
2. Sun Stroke Heart
3. Skinny Rivers
4. Good Man Call
5. Thru That Door
6. Fire And Blood
7. Touch Stone Man
8. Blue Mountain

David Paul Byrne – Vocals
Michal Kulbaka – Guitar
Mark Dempsey – Bass
Marius Appelgryn – Drums



Recorded at Westland Studio in Dublin with producer Alwyn Walker

Released 2017-11-24
Reviewed 2017-12-13


Blues rockers Samarkind are giving us their self-titled debut album; it is a blue album that is looking more backwards than forward in terms of style. The multi-national band consisting of two Irish, a pole and a South African borrows from the likes of Deep Purple etc. And like many nostalgic bands they have received high praise from several internet reviewers for their debut effort, and while it may not be fully undeserved it is still difficult to why all those positives. It is a decent trip down memory lane for the old geezers who grew up half a century ago but it hasn’t enough personality to earn the longevity of the bands they try to emulate.

33 minutes of classically styled bluesy hardrock, straight to the point, plain and simple is how this album sounds. With decent production it has at least some foot in the modern world, but fresh or original are probably not words that will be associated with Samarkind. They offer eight tracks of a rather typical variety and one positive note of the album is certainly the short playing time, and not the vocalist that sounds fairly ordinary to me. It sounds a bit like they have collected some rejected songs from the likes of Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin and then perhaps polished them a little bit to make their debut album, it makes me wonder if they have forgotten the creativity in favour of staying true to a style.

Even though it may not be a particularly impressive album from a creative standpoint, it still works quite well and it is an easy album to like. Easy to like while you are listening as you quickly forget it when you are not listening – there isn’t much in terms of memorable or standout tracks and that is probably the major Achilles heel of this album. There is nothing that really draws me towards it; I would rather say that I gravitate away from the album towards something more exciting. So while this is a solid bluesy hard rock album, I doubt it will appeal to many others than the ones that only listen to this kind of music.

There are some positive notes, they have at least some touches of modernity and so on – things that can prove to be good starting points for something more interesting in the future. But they really have to leave the nostalgic world and find a voice of their own if they want to be relevant and make music that is more than a curiosity for those who like the bands that inspire these guys. If they ever want to make the same impact as those guys did they have to let go of their music and find their own. Samarkind is a good debut but it isn’t a particularly exciting album.





Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Assassin/Inglorious/Deep Purple
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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