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Blackrain frequently cover AC/DC's It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock n' Roll) in their live shows, and with good reason. Formed in the French Alps in 2006, the band have had a turbulent time getting their music out of France and into the world. Despite numerous gigs in France, Japan and Europe, appearing on France's Got Talent and releasing three albums the band struggled to get a record label to take them to the next level. After ten years in the wilderness the ferocious French foursome have signed to UDR, grabbed onto some awesome new management which is catapulting them into the wider world of metal.

Teaming up with legendary producer Jack Douglas (Alice Cooper, Aerosmith) once more, the band invigorate their sleaze rock sound with elements of classic rock, speed metal and even gospel, throwing everything into their latest album entitled Released.

The album takes on a personal level for the band, allowing them more creative expression and from past restraints. Back In Town is the perfect track to launch Blackrain on the world stage. It's melodic rock sensibilities, matched with it's classic rock attitude. Lead singer Swan's admiration for 90s rockers including Axl Rose and Douglas' influence from previous work with Alice Cooper certainly won't go unnoticed. Home has a Bon Jovi big rock ballad feel compared to the warped circus theme that underpins East You Alive. Fade To Black's aggression lends itself to a 'Bond' theme, in a similar way to Chris Cornell's You Know My Name did in Casino Royal (the less said about The Writing's On The Wall, the better).

For You Love, a hard rock reworking of the Yardbirds classic may divide some purist listeners, but at the same time will introduce a whole new generation to one of the founding fathers of rock. Swan's current residence in metal mad Sweden also gives album a Euro-rock feel which can be heard on tracks such as Killing Me with the use of synths and keys and the galloping pace of Run Tiger Run. There's even a gospel choir on the November Rain inspired final track, One Last Prayer. (Listen out for the bonus track as a thanks to the Pledge music fans who helped make the album happen.)

Whilst the album represents a release for the band from previous constraints, they are not afraid to acknowledge their roots in terms of style and structure and Jack Douglas' input will surely give the album a wider appeal commercial appeal.

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