Review: Poison Black

Poison Black
(Century Media)

Easy going, drifting and lugubrious are the music and vocals of Poison Black.  The band is a side project for Ville Laihiala, the vocalist for Sentenced (Poison Black are similar to Sentenced but a touch more melancholy and less crunchy).  Here, however, with Poison Black Ville takes on the duties of guitar playing and leaves the vocals to another.  The vocalist is steeped classic rock ballads and gothic influences and is decent at what he does, but buyers of the album beware.  The album cover is a picture of a fire-engine-red haired woman wearing a feathered boa and form-fitting black pleather top.  She is looking directly into the camera and blowing a hand full of black feathers at us.  She is also in the band.  Why I say “buyer beware” is that it seems a dirty trick to put a solitary band member on the album cover when that band member is not the front person.

In no way do I seek to demean the importance of drummers, bass players or guitarists, but if you put a woman on the album cover and I see that same woman front and center in your band photo, then I bloody well expect to hear female vocals when I slap your bad boy disc into my bad boy disc player.  I didn’t get that.  My expectations were subverted and now I’m a pissy little critic who’s sitting here with the task of reviewing your album while irked.  Don’t play games with me Poison Black!  I am not to be trifled with!  I am all-powerful!  Master of words!  Destroyer of bands!  By the cycles of my moods do rock stars rise and do rock stars fall!  I am Dick and you rubbed me the wrong way!