The four members of Black Country Communion all have ‘day jobs’ and plenty of side hustles, but when they come together for BCC they seem to make something that bears almost no relation to those other gigs. That it is seven long years since their last album is shocking, but they have only made albums when all four (or five if you include Kevin Shirley) are ready to commit to the band and the album.

This time around, the album is possibly the heaviest they have achieved to date, yet there is soul, passion and a touch of funk in there too.

Glenn Hughes bass playing has awesome power and his usual fluid touch, while his vocals are possibly even better these days than during his days with Purple.

Bonamassa is mainly known as a Blues player, but he plays hard rock with aplomb, working perfectly with the heaviest of material on evidence here. His harmonies with Hughes and his backing vocals are really strong, taking the music further. As ever, his solos are perfectly timed, no unnecessary widdling or shredding.

As he gets older, Jason Bonham has developed a more subtle touch – when necessary – but still shows that massive power he has brought to so many bands and sessions over the years. Like Keith Moon with the Who, you simply cannot imagine BCC without his drumming.

Derek Sherinian has often played rather a supporting role to the rest, but his keyboards give essential depth and texture to the music, and he is definitely more to the front here – especially his Hammond work.

The album is, for me, their best yet. It feels as though the egos are well in check and the four are really enjoying playing together.
Kevin Shirley's insight into the recording process highlights the unique chemistry and camaraderie within the band. "When we convened in 2023 to start recording the album V, it really was like picking up the day after the most recent gig," Shirley reflects. "The camaraderie is immediately evident. Once they start playing, everyone is deadly serious, and the music sounds like this band, and nothing else sounds like it."

Musically, it is tight, controlled and has a real rock sensibility. It touches on a number of different rock styles but always has the feel of a BCC album.
There are some stunning numbers, such as the opener ‘Enlighten’ – the album starts with a massive explosion and mover upward from there.

The single ‘Stay Free’ is a real change for BCC with a funky keyboard riff at the heart of the song – but it still gets one of Bonamassa’s best solos.

The album even features a stunning rock ballad in ‘Restless’ with gorgeous, Gary Moore flavoured, guitar and a really passionate vocal from Hughes.

This is an album that really does hit all the high spots no matter how it comes to you. I really can’t wait to see them do some of this live.