Hard rock fans stand up and take notice. There’s a new dog in town, or in this case I should say a new swan. I’m talking about Black Swan of course, a brand new project from some of the biggest names in rock brought to us by the genius minds over at Frontiers Records. The band consists of powerhouse vocalist Robin McAuley (Michael Schenker Group, Survivor), guitarist Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), bass guitarist and production whiz Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, ex-Dokken), and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big). All these musicians have successful careers with their other bands but have come together in Black Swan to give us something truly special. In fact, their debut album “Shake The World” should do just that, shaking the very foundations of the hard rock universe.
Black Swan is more than just its four individual members though, it really is a sum of all its parts as the band sounds like they have been playing together forever. The record is a masterpiece of melodic hard rock with a definite edge to it. The title track is a great stadium rocker with big drums and even bigger guitars and the new single “Big Disaster” has a fantastic chorus. The driving rhythm of “Johnny Came Marching” is unique and unforgettable Accompanying these incredible songs are out of this world performances with amazing rhythms from Pilson and Starr providing a more than solid core as Reb lights things up like magic with blistering leads and sizzling solos. But the real highlight of it all is the absolutely stellar vocal performance from Robin McAuley. For the first time in his career, Robin is able to be himself as only Robin can and the result will take your breath away. From the energetic rockers like “The Rock That Rolled Away” to the exquisite Queenesque vibe of “Dividing-United” his vocals are superb. This albums is definitely the best thing Robin has ever done.
Black Swan has delivered what just might be the album of the year with “Shake The World.” It’s classic hard rock and surprisingly heavy with top notch songs and outstanding performances throughout. This is one that should be a must add to your collection.