Exposé Online banner

Black September — Black September
(Mellow MMP 264, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Black September Cover art

Black September is a four piece from Trenton led by keyboardist Michael West (of "God Sex Money" fame), the instrumentation consisting of violin, sax, and drums, with bass duties shared by violist/lead vocalist Jason Harper and reedsman Freddy Lutz. No guitars. Interesting then, that this is produced by Mastermind's axeman Bill Berends. The album kicks off with a mind-blowing thirteen minute monster called "Bellicose Agenda," and frankly, if the rest of the album met the standard of the first track, we'd have a pretty solid album here. But by the second track, "Freeze," and especially the third, "Forever Winter," it becomes painfully clear that Harper isn't up to the task of lead singer. Then we're treated to an instrumental – an excellent composition spoiled by lifeless drumming and way too much keyboard presence. "The Glen by Afton" almost gets everything back on track, it's clearly the most accessible and well-arranged song here, yet the vocals still drop it down a notch. The closing instrumental "Beast in Plain View" drives home the band's best tendencies – tight twists and turns, intricate complexities, flashy keys, and full band participation. Black September is a band with potential, and hopefully a second album will smooth out some of the rough edges that prevent this from being as good as it could be.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Black September

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Koenjihyakkei - Hundred Sights of Koenji – The latest entry from the ever-growing Japanese zeuhl scene is Koenji Hyakkei, a four piece of guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, with male and female voice. Their sound lies firmly along the...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues