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

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Radiohead - Kid A – OK Computer showed a rock band reaching beyond the conventions of commercial music, yet somehow managing to remain commercial, selling millions of albums and impressing a lot of non-mainstream...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues