9 Chambers: 9 Chambers

So-so debut from US supergroup of sorts.

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You can’t knock their collective pedigree. Take Greg Hampton, go-to guitarist for Alice Cooper and Bootsy Collins, ex-Monster Magnet riffmeister Ed Mundell, Gov’t Mule bassist Jorgen Carlsson and Vinny Appice, kid brother of Carmine and erstwhile drummer for Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell.

9 Chambers deliver bludgeoning rock at brain-curdling volume, at a speed that rarely dips below 200mph. There are hints of Mountain and early Sabbath in their full-on attack, though the best reference point is perhaps the heavy stoner groove of Mundell’s old band.

No bad thing, of course, but there’s a distinct lack of shape or form to these 14 songs, with only a passing interest in melody. Know Your Enemy is a case in point, the band roaring along apace but completely neglecting to drop in a hook. Even the sole concession to a power ballad, Can’t Turn Your Back, is stubbornly inaccessible.

Promising maybe, but 9 Chambers is considerably less than the sum of its parts.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.