SummaryMore than a mere prototypical Southern sludge fest
|4.1 (1 votes):|
The cool thing about the 90’s was bands didn’t have to all sound the same, as the metal influences brewed over the past 80’s decade offered a wide selection to pick from and bands then were generally looking to develop their own sound rather than – conform (wink wink). That bred a host of pretty unique sounding crossover albums, and ‘Blind’ here is one of them. Sure this is the American South; thrashy, loud, distortion feedback laden rock n roll music with an emphasis on groove; but with notable characteristics there that help set this apart from the stereotype.
First of all the sections are genuinely inspired, with strong song-writing and infectious riffs as well as real lead vocal presence. There’s lots of feeling to the guitar parts and to the charismatic soulful voice, as Karl Agell’s passionate howling kicks this up a notch. The choruses are particularly memorable; especially on the earlier tracks; the crushing sludgy grooves heavy and ooze with hi-gain bluesy pentatonic energy. The songs all feel distinct with detailed guitar parts and tasty licks instead of being a bunch of Pantera copycat imitations. There’s a healthy spontaneous and organic feel to the tracks and they flow with silky verve, exuding a wild euphoric feeling of freedom and reckless abandon. “Hell yeah”, the listener thinks to themselves vibing to these tunes. The bass guitar breaks and stop/start guitar chugs during the verses bring the oomph and help pace the songs, building a crescendo on the way to the slick chorus.
Amidst the southern-tinged garage band jamming, the album does contain a few pleasant surprises. The most obvious one would be the excellent intro instrumental track ‘These Shrouded Temples’ and its powerfully dark aura and reverberating heaviness. ‘Mine Are the Eyes of God’ contains a most peculiar chorus mixing various different influences musically, practically bringing to mind an exotic middle-eastern mood. The single ‘Vote With A Bullet’ uses an odd flanger effect on the lead voice during the verse, and backed by fat punishing guitar syncopated chugs generates a strange yet fresh sequence adding to the eclectic textures on the album.
Being 13 tracks and over 50min long is definitely a bit on the overkill side for this sort of music which, despite its efforts to keep things interesting still is generally about one thing. The band had obviously found a groove and came up with a prolific amount of material and crammed it all into one album, but there’s surely too much of it for its own good and as the listener it’s difficult to keep the same enthusiasm after about the halfway mark. The tracks are still good after that point, but simply, it’s too long and the momentum starts to stutter. It’s perhaps a shame the band didn’t opt to give the album a trim, fully focusing their efforts on fewer tracks rendering the album as a whole more digestible and punchy.
Release date: November 5th, 1991
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