Black Ice review by AC/DC

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Oct 20, 2008
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (406 votes)
AC/DC: Black Ice

Sound — 7
After an anxious 8 year wait, AC/DC return with their 15th studio album, 'Black Ice'. The much anticipated addition to the band's catalogue has been produced by Brendan O'Brien, and the sound of the album may be described as conservative, without being too adventurous; this may not be a bad thing, though. Several different styles have been employed by the Young brothers throughout the 15 song, hour long album. One example of this is the use of slide guitar by Angus in the tune 'Stormy May Day'. While it isn't the best example of proficient slidework by a guitarist in the history of the world, it compliments the song very well. For the remainder of Black Ice, two different styles have been composed; the mid-tempo hard rock the group is renowned for, and the slow, bluesy crawl first seen on 'The Jack' from the High Voltage album. "Rock 'N Roll Train" and "Wheels" are my favorite exponents of the hard rocking rhythm seen on the majority of the songs, while "Decibel" reflects the crawling blooze contingent.

Lyrics — 8
Brian Johnson has allegedly taken over the pen and paper as lyricist on this album. The lyrics are typical AC/DC; sex, booze and rock 'n roll. Johnson shines with his vocals, however. Opting for more of a crooner role, Johnson 'sings' the tunes, rather than letting rip with his signature scream. This results in a pleasant listening experience, and may result in more outsiders to join the AC/DC loving family. Hats off to Brian.

Overall Impression — 7
No one is waiting for another Back In Black or Highway To Hell. Black Ice isn't in the same league as these giants, nor does it try to be. This one has been penned as a safe, reliable addition to the band's catalogue, reinforcing AC/DC as a constant force in Hard Rock. Some may be disappointed the band has not stepped out of the box to produce a harder, rawer rock album reminiscent of the 70's. (I include myself in that category). Maybe the next (and possibly final) album by these giants may be a final, explosive hurrah. Maybe... Black Ice does contain enough quality material to be an enjoyable listen, however. My pick of the songs would be; Rock 'N Roll Train, Big Jack, Anything Goes, Wheels and Money Made. A solid effort from the matured, precise machine that is modern day AC/DC.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love all the AC/DC albums and I cna truthfully say that out of all there albums I love every single song. This album was no different. I love the few songs they threw in with a different sound! Those are badass! This album in my opinion is 12 out of 10. Sound-10 Lyrics-10 Impression-10 Classic AC/DC sound and it will always be that way. If they make another album it is going to be the same way. No matter what everyone will buy it because it's AC-FUCKING-DC. They will always be my favorite band! ANGUS,BRIAN,MAL,CLIFF,PHIL
    Another great album! I own all the International AC/DC albums and to be honest this album might be in the top 10. I hope their next album comes out sometime in the next 4 years so we don't have to wait a near decade for new material. What would Bon think of this "make an album every 4-6 years" crap. Anyway, great album by a great band.
    i havent heard the entire album but almost all AC/DC songs sound the same.
    Awesome Comeback CD. The boys are back! Good mix of tunes on this CD. The solos are a bit short but they fit the songs. I like all the tunes but my top 5 would have to be: 1-Skies on Fire, 2-Rock N Roll Train, 3-War Machine, 4-Decibel, 5-Spoilin for a fight. Anyone else agree? Can't wait to see them Dec. 4th in Oakland. ROCK ON AC/DC!!!
    After a long 8 years, the boys are back with Black Ice. Bought it the first day it was released. The whole CD rocks and has a good range of musical influences. My top 5 so far are: 1-Skies on Fire, 2-Rock N Roll Train, 3-War Machine, 4-Decibel, 5-Spoilin for a fight. Anyone else agree with me? Going to see them on Dec 4th in Oakland, can't wait! ROCK ON AC/DC!!!
    havnt heard the album yet but completly agree with the review u dont always need to go out on a limb it is just good to hear and album that ROCKS What more could u ask for
    I "liked" the album.. But I felt lethargic once I finished listening to it.. there were a couple really driving great rock pounding songs.. but it was almost too consistent.. It was almost like listening to 60-some minutes of E-G-A .. I really liked: anything goes (Which was a breath of fresh air).. rock n' roll train.. Stormy May day was great too ..
    This is not the first time we have heard slide work from Angus. He also used it on "Badlands".
    Spoilin for a fight is very cool, as is stormy may day. I think they should open with War Machine, but I know it will be Rock N Roll Train. Wasn't it called originally Runaway Train? Brian did a very good job with the vocals for each song. The lads are back and rocking in 2008 like they should be. This tour is gonna be the biggest for sure. Such a good mix of styles on Black Ice. I dig it!
    I just learned to play Stormy May Day. It is a good finger workout. I played it without a slide and it still sounds pretty good. No Angus solos to tackle, that's why it is easy. lol. Fun song to play. The tab is on this site. ROCK ON!!!
    She digs rock n roll, she likes rock n roll, you want rock n roll, I need rock n roll everyday.....
    My favorites are: War Machine Smash 'n Grab Spoilin' for A Fight. (this is not "filler"!) Also like Money Made. I didn't know that Malcolm did some guitar solos. I can't picture that. How do people find that out that he did the intro to Jailbreak and Soul Stripper? Angus used slide on Badlands? that song. This album sounds completely different from previous albums they've done. Never heard so many slower-paced songs. I think I hate "Anything Goes", But I love AC/DC.