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Friday, January 31, 2014
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Doom Metal fans may have wondered what singer Eric Wagner has been up to, after his departure from Chicago's legendary Trouble (with whom he served from 1979 to 1986...when the band went on a hiatus, and then again from 1993 on)...well, we now find our answer with the release of this, Blackfinger's debut release!

Having removed himself completely from the spotlight, Wagner set to writing a set of songs of a more personal nature, which would later serve as the musical inspiration of his yet to be formed new band. That band took shape in 2009, when Wagner recruited hometown friends Rico Bianchi and Doug Hakes on guitars, Ben Smith on bass, and Larry Piatz on drums. Between 2010 and 2012, Blackfinger played only a handful of well-received high profile shows in the Chicago area, and Dark Star Records peaked attention by digitally releasing the band's single “All The Leaves Are Brown”. Triumphant appearances at the first two runs of Milwaukee's Days Of The Doomed Fest added even more buzz in the Doom Metal scene and beyond, and fans were looking out with anticipation for the band's first album! Finally, in August 2013, fans were notified that the wait would not last too long anymore, as the band had signed a worldwide deal for the distribution of their debut album (on CD and limited vinyl) with German quality label The Church Within Records, with Dark Star taking care of digital-only distribution.

Regretfully, you'll find no music of the band on either the site of The Church Within [(www.)] or of the band itself [(http://) only sporting 6 videos of Wagner with Trouble, and one when he toured with Probot – his other past ventures including live participation in Death Row, Retro Grave, and recordings/ performances with The Skull and Lid)... and (www.) has neither video nor audio files], so I'm afraid you'll have to make due with whatever samples are provided by your trusted online sales sites, such as Amazon, iTunes, and so on...provided of course they even carry the album! Songs falling out of the “normal” Doom Metal idiom, are “As Long As I'm With You” and “Keep Falling Down”, both better categorized in the “ballad” genre, with the first not even sporting guitar, but only piano, strings, drums...and perhaps also bass (the latter actually begins with some acoustic guitar, and also has a bit of electric guitar solo; while it also has strings incorporated, there is however no piano). No matter really, because you'll find each and every song n this album gripping at you with its individual degree of catchiness. In essence, this is for certain an album which no fan of the Doom Metal genre should miss out on this year!

And so, you'll find it featured in my personal “Best Albums Of 2014” lists at the end of the year, for sure!