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Blynd: Punishment Unfolds

Cyprus is one of those Greek islands with a long and dignified history. It's also the home of Blynd, a thrash / death metal band that has made a strong impact on the scene since their beginnings in 2003. With this new album, their second full-length release, Blynd is sure to gain a new bunch of fans. For those hearing Blynd for the first time, you can expect a strong, hard-hitting album, full of explosive riffs and flashy guitar solos. Both Dino and George, the band's two guitarists, bring a strong attack to their sound. I was really drawn to the solos on this recording; they have a traditional metal quality to them, but they are definitely more than the scale exercises that occasionally pass for solos. Some tracks feature some very memorable leads, usually stemming from the solos, which provide a nice counterpoint to the music of the verses. Check out, for example, the melodic passages on "Never for the Fallen."

One of my favorite guitar moments on this album is the killer riff that shows up half-way through "Arrival of the Gods," as is the very flashy solo that grows out of it. I wasn't expecting this song to be so much fun at this point, especially after its deadly serious classically-inspired opening track. It was surprising and cool to hear the guitar take up the lead and drive things in a new direction. These guys play with an immense energy that is always infectious. I'll bet their live show is outstanding.

I also really liked the way "As Punishment Unfolds" included the sound of Andreas breathing in before starting his vocal line. To me, this moment had the effect of getting me squarely into that breathless space music like this occupies. He does a similar thing on the closing track "Infinity Race." It's nice to know that something as simple as an inhale can convey the kind of intensity these guys are trying to capture. Moreover, Blynd's music is so driving, so heavy hitting, that it's nice to know that they have to pause for breath from time to time. Andreas, also the band's bassist, delivers a strong vocal punch but is much less interesting a bassist. At times, his bass parts don't even stand out much from the guitar parts. I wasn't too disappointed, however, mostly because Andreas brings so much to his singing. I don't see how he could rock the bass and the microphone. The album as a whole is very strong and will please fans old and new. Some of the songs open with clips from movies or television shows (I could never tell what shows off hand), a trend that is becoming somewhat uninteresting to me. I also thought that many of the songs played off of very similar structures and themes. This isn't always a bad thing, especially if a band is good at them. In this case, Blynd delivers a strong, consistent, album that works best when its capable and interesting guitarists take center stage.

Track Listing:
1. Divine Gathering
2. Arrival of the Gods
3. As Punishment Unfolds
4. Never for the Fallen
5. The Chosen Few
6. Convicted in the Devil's Land
7. Sins to the Cross
8. The Final Resistance
9. Divine Conspiracy
10. Infinity Race

Added: November 22nd 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1261
Language: english

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