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Blackwater Park


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Blackwater Park Dirt Box album cover
2.84 | 36 ratings | 6 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mental Block (3:18)
2. Roundabout (5:45)
3. One's Life (3:03)
4. Indian Summer (6:10)
5. Dirty Face (4:25)
6. Rock Song (8:45)
7. For No One (3:25)

Total Time: 34:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Routledge / vocals, guitar
- Michael Fechner / guitar
- Andreas Scholz / bass
- Norbert Kagelmann / drums

- Burkhard Plenge / keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Michael Fessel

LP BASF ‎- 2021238-6 (1972, Germany)
LP Long Hair ‎- LHC000155 (2015, Germany) Remastered by Jörg Scheuermann

CD Second Battle ‎- SB 020 (1992, Germany)
CD Long Hair ‎- LHC00154 (2015, Germany) Remastered by Jörg Scheuermann

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLACKWATER PARK Dirt Box ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (58%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BLACKWATER PARK Dirt Box reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Blackwater Park is one of those (german) bands who didn't survive enough in prog music to make any ripples around them. They disbanded very soon after releasing only one album in 1972 named Dirt box, not very easy to find album, but fortunately the Cd reissue was made by Spalanx and Second battle fiew years ago. The music is very uptempo with catchy tunes and hard edged guitars, and from time to time some hammond is present, more background, the exception is the opening track, the music is more a hard rock with prog leanings here and there. Now the album beggins very strong with Mental Block, followed by another two great tracks Roundabout and One's Life - here the guitar player Michael Fechner did a great job, making Richy Blackmore to think twice if he is the only guitar virtuoso of those times. The rest of the tracks are good but not very exciting, only good to listen from time to time. I like the vocal parts made by Richard Routledge, is very sure about his possibilities in singing and did a realy great job on this album. All in all a pleasent album , no doubt, desearves 3 stars easely, but not an amazing one, like other albums from krautrock or heavy prog from that period. Similarities with Goliath, May Blitz or Walpurgis.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars It's hard for me not to like these early heavy blues flavoured albums with the prominant aggressive guitar and raw English vocals dominating the soundscapes.This would be the only album this German band would put out. It was recorded late in 1971 and released in 1972.

"Mental Block" is a mid paced tune with organ and guitar leading the way as our vocalist sings away. Love the guitar in this one. "Roundabout" is more uptempo and heavier. A good rocker. The lyrics are pretty bad though. "One's Life" reminds me of CREAM a little. I like this one especially the guitar. "Indian Summer" is a very bluesy 6 minute track. The guitar and drums lead the way early. The guitar is fairly heavy here. Vocals a minute in.

"Dirty Face" has piano in it and really doesn't do anything for me. "Rock Song" is the almost 9 minute epic. Great guitar and theatrical vocals. It turns psychedelic before 3 minutes as he speaks the vocals. Love the psychedelic guitar too before 4 1/2 minutes, then he lets it rip as he sets the soundscape on fire. Blistering solo ! "For Noone" is a cover of THE BEATLES "For No One" tune from the "Revolver" album. Very cool sounding translation of this excellent track.

Lots to like for me on this album but it doesn't rate anything more then 3 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars For sure, a band that lend its name to one of my top 10 albums had to be checked out. Especially seeing it listed under kraut rock had my hopes up even higher. As it turned out this rather sounds like a dated Thin Lizzy album then like anything kraut or Prog. But it's a fun ride still.

The songs are all fairly similar, swinging hard rock with lots of blues and organs, the mandatory boogie woogie tune and one extended track (Rock Song) that makes room for some psychedelic jamming. My favorite one would be Roundabout, its distinguishing qualities being a catchy guitar lead and a solid chugging rhythm.

A fairly unremarkable album with good tunes from pre-historic ages. Nothing too wild or exciting and certainly no kraut (if that would either motivate or hinder you to check it out). Nice cover though.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Dirt Box' - Blackwater Park (59/100)

Blackwater Park is a band whose brief existence was made notable not through their own doing, but rather through those (or, in this case, someone) they influenced. Almost thirty years following the release of Blackwater Park's one and only LP, a certain Swedish progressive metal band would go on to use the band as a namesake for one of the most acclaimed metal albums of all time. Whether you're hearing about Blackwater Park through their indirect association with Opeth, or simply interested in classic psych-tinged hard rock, Blackwater Park's Dirt Box is a worthy listen. Effective grooves and a fuzzy proto-metal grit make it an interesting find, although their barebones approach to Krautrock and bland songwriting standards keep it from being one I'll likely return to anytime soon.

Though Blackwater Park might not have the experimental edge to call themselves proper 'Krautrock', the fuzzy garage aesthetic is here. Considering its 1972 release date, Blackwater Park have some heavy grit and distortion in their sound- whatever you might consider metal to have been in the early 70s, rest assured that Blackwater Park would fit in snugly. There is a charisma to Blackwater Park- heard mostly in the ballsy vocals of Richard Routledge- but there is a prevailing sense throughout the album that the sound on Dirt Box has been kept almost puritanically barebones and basic. Matters are not helped by Blackwater Park's songwriting; although they have a solid foundation of a style, too much of Dirt Box seems to draw from the same shallow well. Riffs begin to blur together, and for all of Routledge's vocal presence, I can't remember an original hook of theirs after the album is finished. For what it's worth however, their thick sound and powerful grooves are enough to make a good first impression, and at least enough to make the first couple of listens worthwhile.

Ultimately, I think it's the inclusion of the Beatles cover "For No One" that goes to show how uninspired Blackwater Park are as songwriters. There's no doubt that few artists in popular music could master hooks like Lennon/McCartney, but to hear the music shifted from heavy blues-standard riffs to something outside their own box weighs against the rest of the songs. To their credit, Blackwater Park do a fine job of making "For No One" their own; whereas the original is a piano pop track, the Dirt Box version kicks it up into fuzzy distorted nirvana. Splitting up before they could come out with another album, Blackwater Park committed themselves to obscurity. I don't think anyone looking for a direct musical influence of Opeth will leave this feeling all-too satisfied, but otherwise it's a fairly charismatic hard rock record. Approach it without any preconceived notions and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I'm afraid this album is mislabeled. This album is heavy rock proto metal in the vein of Trapeze and Black Sabbath. Not too progressive, not too Kraut, a one off almost classic. Catchy riffs combine with groovy, funky, heavy, chunky bass and percussion Vocals are uniformly strong, but the ... (read more)

Report this review (#953487) | Posted by Suedevanshoe | Friday, May 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Dirt Box is a pretty good album for the 1 shot band Blackwater Park (not to be confused with the Opeth album Blackwater Park) but in no way as I see it has any progressive characteristics.. It was one of the first albums I've heard initially when I started to get interested in 'progressive rock' ... (read more)

Report this review (#162041) | Posted by Verwuestung | Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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