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Living Colour: Collideoscope

When Living Colour first broke in 1988 with their hit, "Cult of Personality," the fact that it was an all-black hard rock band obscured something far more noteworthy -- they were a really great hard rock band. Corey Glover's charging voice -- equal parts heavy metal howl and sweet Stax soul -- perfectly matched Vernon Reid's blistering guitar. They toured with the Rolling Stones, won a few Grammys, and even if they didn't sustain the promise of their debut "Vivid," there was still reason for sadness when they finally called it quits in the mid-1990s. So it's nice to see the New York-based band back together. All the original members -- including drummer Will Calhoun -- are back, save for bassist Muzz Skillings, who was replaced by Doug Wimbish in 1992. They get the old fires burning again, and there's an ear-thugging spark to such standouts as the deceptively gentle "Flying," told from the viewpoint of one doomed man in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and the anti-war "In Your Name," which pounds along in a manic cacophony of drum-n-bass electronica. All the components are there -- Reid's guitar attack still goes for the throat, Glover's voice has lost none of its power or pathos. Living Colour performs at Avalon on Nov. 12, with King Crimson.

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