Where have Black Market Serotonin been hiding all this time? No band should be allowed to have such a unique and accomplished sound and stay off the radar for so long. This Manchester trio appear to have been together since 2008 with their debut single only coming out in 2010. It appears that Black Market Serotonin have been locked away perfecting their craft for quite a long time, but my God has it been worth it.
Black Market Serotonin’s debut album Something From Nothing sounds like earthtone9, Pitchblend and Muse got sexy and had a proggy, space-rock, riff-baby and they fed him synthesisers. We can’t stress enough how beautifully original this record sounds.
The whole thing kicks off with the epic instrumental Singularity which gently starts with some warm electronics before stepping up a notch with some brilliant tremolo picking. The song builds and builds and feels like it’s about to explode before it catches you off guard with a moment of respite. Then the riffs hit and man do they hit.
The album continues in a similar fashion. None of the songs on Something From Nothing stick to a standard song structure and instead favour a progressive flow that twists and turns but continues along a natural path that isn’t jarring to listen to. Vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist Andrew Pimblott commands with his booming voice and does a fantastic job of earthing the band’s sound into something more palatable. His melodies are simple yet memorable which allows the music to go off on interesting tangents without becoming too much of a prog headache.
Stand out tracks include DeadByFiveOClock and Irons in the Fire which deliver the right amount of experimental musicianship coupled with the mightiest of riffs. The first half of the album really succeeds in delivering catchy vocal hooks yet maintaining some down-right engaging and intriguing rock that wouldn’t sound out of place at an arena show.
Unfortunately, Black Market Serotonin get a little too ambitious with their 5 part album title track. That’s right, 5 parts. Muse’s Exogenesis symphony is now quivering in fear. While certain parts of the song still showcase the band’s truly epic prog rock, other parts feel like filler for the sake of filler. Part 4 in particular is 4 minutes of a single hook that never progresses into anything else. It just feels a bit unnecessary.
But really, this is the only negative we can throw at Black Market Serotonin’s Something From Nothing. The band have unleashed some truly epic prog rock that deserves your attention. If there’s any justice in the world, Black Market Serotonin will be playing stadiums and festivals where their music can be truly appreciated on the sort of scale it was made for.
Black Market Serotonin’s Something From Nothing will be released on CD April 22nd on Super Star Destroyer.