Blackberry Smoke: Holding All The Roses

Southern rock heroes stride out of the shadows

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This is the fourth album from a band some have hailed as Southern rock messiahs, coming from a similar background to Pantera and also Black Stone Cherry.

At its best, Holding All The Roses really has the scent of recent Clutch. This much is clear on Let Me Help You (Find The Door) and Living In The Song, both of which have a mid-paced, sliding boogie cushion, and the confidently smart groove of Rock And Roll Again.

Where the album does slip a little is on slower songs like Woman In The Moon and No Way Back To Eden, which meander and lose focus. But thankfully, for the most part, the ’Smoke sound fired up and out of the pocket of the aforementioned Black Stone Cherry, plus the Black Crowes. This might be due to producer Brendan O’Brien having a strong connection with both. Yet there are also hints of AC/DC and Rival Sons. Holding All The Roses opens up the band’s horizons. It’s a strong enough album to show these Atlantan rockers are finally coming into their own.

Via Earache

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021