• Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Oct 20, 2008
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Black Ice will trigger nostalgia in the devout, but inasmuch as the album reaffirms AC/DC's power, there's nothing backward-looking about it.
  2. AC/DC have stuck to their guns with electrifying results.
  3. In other words, Black Ice is a quintessential, if not exactly essential, AC/DC album.
  4. In a postmodern age of irony and cynicism, of self-absorbed navel-gazing, when too many bands want to make vapid political statements and shallow social commentary, AC/DC reliably deliver the goods: solid blues-based rock ‘n’ roll that gets the blood pumping and the air guitar strumming.
  5. Quality stuff. Sorta like 'Send for the Man,' but better.
  6. Mojo
    80
    "Back In Back" it ain't, but it's certainly a real return to form. [Nov 2008, p.102]
  7. Like all AC/DC records, this is a troubling one to love.
  8. 70
    Scattered predictability aside, AC/DC still sound strong and hungry 35 years on, as if they could pulverize riffs in perpetuity.
  9. It's a strong album that rarely skimps on gut-churning guitars.
  10. Johnson yelps at one point--making it clear that his band still finds resonance in words that were clichéd by 1956. And for that, you've got to salute them.
  11. Black Ice is far better than anyone could have hoped, played by people who by their age should know better.
  12. Black Ice is, in many respects, just a consolidation of all AC/DC’s strengths and/or perceived weaknesses in one easily-digested package. Yes, there is filler among the killers, but in large measure what you have here is grade-A, late-vintage rawk with no frills and most of the thrills intact.
  13. The appeal of AC/DC lies with their more-than-30-year-old commitment to the same no-frills metal groove. But that groove now seems in danger of becoming a rut.
  14. It's a record aimed at the band's existing audience, and far more important than any qualitative highs and lows is the fact that everything you might expect is present and correct.
  15. 60
    If Black Ice has a weakness, it’s that it betrays an anxiety. As if AC/DC really might be uncharacteristically worried that their grasp on the planet is in danger of slipping. As if they’ve tried to discreetly update their sound, while hoping that their rebarbative old fans won’t notice what they’ve done. Invincibility suits AC/DC. Self-doubt, even a microscopic hint of it, does not.
  16. 60
    Half of their new truckload feels typically phoned-in. But sometimes they surprise you, nailing the signature sounds of their '70s boogie-metal brethren. [Nov 2008, p.72]
  17. AC/DC still can sound invigorating - and make no mistake they do here, as much as they ever do on a latter-day record - but they just need to tighten up, cut back, crank it up and sound a little rude again.
  18. The seemingly ageless Australian rock combo mostly employs its same tried-and-true formula on the audio side of the Black Ice equation.
  19. After an eight-year hiatus, these hard rock legends return to the music scene with a banging album that has just a little less bite than others past.
  20. Q Magazine
    60
    Black Ice is the album AC/DC were always going to make. It wasn't broken. They didn't need to fix it. [Nov 2008, p.119]
  21. As with anything, there's catch; the 'good' only lasts four songs and about fifteen minutes out of a fifteen song, fifty-five minute record.
  22. Black Ice may sound like a vintage AC/DC record in a superficial way, thanks to producer Brendan O’Brien and engineer Mike Fraser, but having Brian Johnson squeal dumb cliché phrases--three of the 15 songs have “rock ’n’ roll” in the title while a fourth has “rocking”--over a steady 4/4 thump is going to bore even their most ardent followers.
  23. For those who truly want to rock around the clock, Black Ice never brings the heat.
  24. As a whole, Black Ice is a mess of tired conventions shoved noisily at the listener, as though just getting them all on record was good enough.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 96
  2. Negative: 5 out of 96
  1. Aug 8, 2012
    10
    it has the raw power of AC/DC's old albums but contains more well versed lyrics by the young brothers. an explosively satisfying album. alsoit has the raw power of AC/DC's old albums but contains more well versed lyrics by the young brothers. an explosively satisfying album. also has more Angus young guitar work in it as well Full Review »
  2. May 10, 2011
    5
    Some decent tracks here but fifteen tracks that were simply rewritten over the same one is hardly worth twenty euro. A little more diiversitySome decent tracks here but fifteen tracks that were simply rewritten over the same one is hardly worth twenty euro. A little more diiversity could have made this a winner. Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2010
    5
    Sound exactly the same, only this time it's NOT good. Rock n' Roll Train is decent but there really isn't much here you haven't heard aSound exactly the same, only this time it's NOT good. Rock n' Roll Train is decent but there really isn't much here you haven't heard a million times before. Full Review »