Blackfinger - When Colors Fade Away

Blackfinger - When Colors Fade Away

(CD/LP, M-Theory Audio, 2017)

“Let us now pretend that I’m already dead”... This is the powerful lyric line that opens the title track of BLACKFINGER’s sophomore release “When Colors Fade Away”, sung by the warm voice of Eric Wagner, and sets the right mood from the start. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should already know that the kindled spirit of the American Rock / Heavy Metal singer remains restless, meaning he’s constantly working on something new to channel his inner demons / strawberry sky dreams with his creative pen and producing astonishing pieces of music in the process which are marked by his personal and recognizable style and velvety vocals. Surrounded by new bandmates (Matthew Tuite and Terry Weston that some time ago their roads crossed on Pittsburgh’s PENANCE), the former TROUBLE vocalist strikes back with a dark-er album (lyrically and musically), and in case the BLACKFINGER debut left you wanting more, then “When Colors Fade Away” will kick your door down with its moody, mid-paced yet full-band-served tunes.

The opening title track doesn’t seem to be afraid of showing its aggressively Doom-y teeth from the very beginning, having the ageless voice of Eric Wagner in the middle of this rich-flowing traditional Doom tune (yeah, you can blame the heavy guitar work and the colorful basslines for that) that steadily evolves into a solid piece of work, able to stand side by side to everything else he has written. If you’ve already got the feeling that this album stands one step forward, leaving Eric’s melancholic and trippy days behind, wait till you hear tracks like “Can I Get A Witness” or “All My Sorrow” where the scattered jam-esque tunes and the groovy mood reside, occasionally filtered through an early ‘70s Rock funnel that has Mr. Wagner’s name written all over it. Sure, you’ll get the twin guitars’ crushing-slow chords and the early-PRIEST-gone-Doom-type guitars (as in all of his previous works), only in this instance the result stands closer to THE SKULL’s heavy attitude than to its previous solo ventures. Just listen how the massive “My Old Soul” crawls back from the dark corners in an almost ALICE IN CHAINS way, notice how “After-Now” almost touches Heavy / Stoner territories with its “Trapped Inside My Mind”-like riff (winking brilliantly back to THE BEATLES) and its cowbell-action during the solo, and hear how Eric’s voice evolves and changes colors and moods during “Crossing The River Turmoil” (during the chorus feels like he’s reading the starting line of his will), and you’ll get what I’m saying.

Being already that deep into the album, having passed the middle for good, BLACKFINGER’s darkness is still present and appears in any given chance; in the moody-yet-catchy melody of “Beside Still Water”, in Eric’s soul-searching lyrics of the optimistic-titled “Waiting For The Sun”, and even in my personal favorite 3-plus-minute “Till We Meet Again” which despite its aggro-Doom pace and the Bible-laden lyric lines “In the beginning” and “Let there be light” which whimsically hint Eric’s songwriting past, it still feels like a bittersweet goodbye to the listener’s ears.

So, what happens “when colors fade away”? A perpetual, silent darkness, ready to grab our soul, leaving no room to breathe and dominates everything; a darkness so deep and ebony-dipped that is impossible for any kind of light to pass through. And now, the million-dollar question: is this album the ‘best’ one with Eric Wagner’s name on it? Hmm, I really can’t answer that because being a biased fan who loves everything this man has released so far from day one, I couldn’t give an objective response, but it definitely is the darkest one.

“Remember me I was the one
standing in the rain
I will always be there with you
till we meet again.”





01. When Colors Fade Away
02. Can I Get A Witness
03. All My Sorrow
04. My Old Soul
05. After-now
06. Crossing The River Turmoil
07. Beside Still Water
08. Waiting For The Sun
09. Till We Meet Again


Eric Wagner - Vocals
Matthew Tuite - Guitar
Terry Weston - Guitar
Matthew Cross - Bass
David Snyder - Drums