Friday, June 18, 2021

Death is June - Blindfolded and Led to the Woods : " Nightmare Withdrawals"

The band from New Zealand succeeds in not sounding like any other death metal band I have covered this month which is an accomplishment. Some of this is thanks to the helter skelter angular riffs they throw at you from every direction. It is progressive but in more of a math rock way than wanky shredding. "Black Air" is not as impressive as they throw a lot of speed at you and the drumming gets more blasty. The third song "And You Will try to Speak' makes up for this by having an arrangement with more dynamics and venturing into a jammy post rock section. "The Whites of the Eyes" is more focused on brutality, but there is some groove to the under a minute and a half they hit you with. 

 They bring thicker groove with djent tendencies on The Wings of a Magpie" which features Karl Sanders of Nile. There is nothing that distinguishes his playing from everything else that goes on here, I think I can pin point in the chaos what he is doing. "Lucid Visitations" continues to find the band flex their dynamic range and it is the moments of introspective gloom that make the brutal beatings more justified and come off as heavier explosions. Even these parts have merit as the riffs shift like restless waters . The title track is pretty much just in your face aggression though they have some nuance even there. 

There is a little more of a dynamic contrast while keeping the focus on their mind bending heaviness with "the Obscured Witness" . They show another one of their strengths are the groove they sometimes lock into on a song like " Rorschach and delirium" . The riffs circle each other like slithering snakes on meth. They can also pull out catchy riffs when they want to. Some of the clean guitar work is touched with jazz and wonderful.  The last song opens with impressive drumming from a genre which that sort of thing is a standard that this guy goes above and beyond on. The vocals are almost more hard core in their cadence when they come in.  It is consistent with what they do and well done though not the best song of the album. I will  give this album a 9, what makes it even more impressive is how they manage to stay so heavy while defying the limitations of the genre.   

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