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Black Bonzo - Lady of the Light CD (album) cover


Black Bonzo


Heavy Prog

3.90 | 116 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Lovely lady

Since the early 2000's, there have been a huge array of bands and artists that have provided an interesting revisiting of the classics in many genres of music and progressive rock is mo exception. The so-called retro-prog bands have, for quite some time, brought back the music from the lost decades of when progressive rock was at its peak and Black Bonzo is one of those bands.

Borrowing inspiration from the hard rock bands of both the traditional rock and the progressive rock scenes, Black Bonzo manages to, at the same time, make some kind of music that is familiar to many but is still fresh and intriguing. Through all of Lady of The Light you feel as if this music came straight from somewhere between 70 and 75, due to the combination of vintage instrumentation, the compositions themselves and the lyrics.

The carefulness of trying to sound as a classic progressive rock band, however the questionability of its quility or lack of thereof just by the way the band itself sounds, becomes a secondary issue as the music begin to play. The level of compositions surpass any issue I have with the Black Bonzo's decision of sounding old. The sheer quality of the progressive rock they present in the debut album should serve to quiet those who dislike this class of progressive rock.

Besides sounding as if the music is 40 years old, the lyrics also appear to be plucked from somewhere back there. The fantasy and epic lyrics are a perfect match for the band's music, playing a considerable part in their retro outfits.

Bonzo's style of progressive hard rock can be described as some kind of mixture between Byron-era Uriah Heep, Mark 2 Deep Purple, King Crimson around 1969 and 1970 and Rainbow. In fact, all those bands influenced Black Bonzo both in the intrumental section and in the vocal department, with the exception of Rainbow because Dio's vocals are simply impossible to mimic. Of all of those influences, Uriah Heep is the most proeminent of them all. Every song has some Heep touch and the vocals, specially, are similar to Byron's singing style.

Although the album a whole is very well balanced, round and most songs are very good, some stand out more than others. Those highlights of Lady Of The Light are the opening (and title) track, Brave Young Soldier, These are Days of Sorrow, Fantasy World, Leave Your Burdens and Where the River Meets the Sea. In the band, the highlights are, without a doubt, the keyboards, specially the organs and the mellotrons, which are placed perfectly in every song.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Black Bonzo's first release is one of many exaples of retro-prog done right. The music is familiar, but it is not the exact same thing as some other band or artist. If you like hard rock as it were back in the 1970's and progressive rock, look no further than this band.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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