Thin Black Duke

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Thin Black Duke
Thin Black Duke (2017) cover.jpg
Studio album by Oxbow
Released May 5, 2017
Genre Experimental rock
Length 38:59
Label Hydra Head
Oxbow chronology
The Narcotic Story (album)
(2007)The Narcotic Story (album)2007
Thin Black Duke

Thin Black Duke is the seventh studio album by American experimental rock band Oxbow. It was released on May 5, 2017 through Hydra Head Records.

Background and composition[edit]

According to Pitchfork writer Zoe Camp, the album "envision[s] a world domineered by disorder, a carnivalesque arena where music's most intimidating, grandiose genres (free jazz, high-concept chamber pop, noise, neoclassical, metal) can duke it out like gladiators one minute, and come together for a grotesque group hug the next."[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Record Collector5/5 stars[3]
musicOMH5/5 stars[4]
Drowned in Sound9/10[5]
Tiny Mix Tapes4.5/5 stars[6]

Thin Black Duke was met with critical acclaim. The album received an average score of 87/100 from 9 reviews on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim".[2] In a positive review with The Quietus, Sean Guthrie wrote, "By rights no group should be peaking after 30 years of making music together, yet that is the situation in which Oxbow find themselves. Will they ever transcend Thin Black Duke? Such are the ideas and attention to detail on this record, only a fool would bet against them."[7] Zoe Camp of Pitchfork was positive on the album, but she did not see Thin Black Duke as Oxbow's "definitive show of force".[1]


Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
2017 Rolling Stone United States "20 Best Metal Albums of 2017" 7 [8]
2017 The Quietus United Kingdom "Albums of the Year, 2017" 10 [9]
2017 Decibel United States "Top 40 Albums of 2017" 30 [10]
2017 The Needle Drop United States "Top 50 Albums of 2017" 11 [11]
2017 musicOMH United Kingdom "Top 50 Albums of 2017" 20 [12]
2017 Louder Than War United Kingdom "Top 100 Albums of 2017" 66 [13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Oxbow.

1."Cold & Well-Lit Place"4:32
2."Ecce Homo"4:17
3."A Gentleman's Gentleman"3:24
4."Letter of Note"6:17
6."The Upper"4:32
7."Other People"4:03
8."The Finished Line"6:27
Total length:38:59


Credits adapted from liner notes.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c Camp, Zoe (May 1, 2017). "Oxbow Thin Black Duke".
  2. ^ a b "Oxbow: The Thin Black Duke (2017)". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  3. ^ Hamnett, Alun (June 1, 2017). "Oxbow Thin Black Duke".
  4. ^ Shepherd, Sam (May 1, 2017). "Oxbow - Thin Black Duke".
  5. ^ Turner-Heffer, Adam (May 11, 2017). "Oxbow Thin Black Duke".
  6. ^ Hemmerling, Joe (May 4, 2017). "Oxbow The Thin Black Duke".
  7. ^ Guthrie, Sean. "Oxbow - THIN BLACK DUKE". The Quietus. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "20 Best Metal Albums of 2017". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Quietus Albums Of The Year 2017 In Association With Norman Records". The Quietus. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  10. ^ Mudrian, Albert. "Here Are Decibel's Top 40 Albums of 2017". Decibel. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ "Thin Black Duke AllMusic entry (includes liner notes)". AllMusic. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Thin Black Duke Discogs entry (includes liner notes)". Discogs. Retrieved December 24, 2017.