To really understand Swollen Members new album, Black Magic, you have to listen to their previous albums. From Balance, to Bad Dreams, to Heavy, up to Black Magic. Each album has its own sound that captures them at each time period. What really catches my attention about Black Magic is that it brings together the combined sound of all their albums.
The songs on Black Magic touch everything from the traditional Swollen sound, to the catchy mainstream sounds from their previous album, Heavy. Guest appearances by artists such as Evidence, Ghostface Killah, Casual, Everlast, and of course Moka Only, allows something distinctive to be brought to the table in each song. It also helps show their strong bond of friends, which seem more a part of their family, rather than just friends.
Songs like "Dark Clouds" keep that backpack rapper sound, while "Dynamite" has that club sound with a Middle Eastern twist blended with a Reggae-Dancehall vibe. Yet of course you can't forget the catchy pianos blended with the distinctive drum patterns in songs like "So Deadly," and "Prisioner of Doom."
It seems as if all the Swollen albums are chapters, and collectively they're a book. Black Magic is the latest chapter, and I would definitely be surprised to see what else they come out with next because they have already covered so much.