Monday, March 4, 2013

Blynd - Punishment Unfolds

Blynd
Punishment Unfolds
Pitch Black Records

The latest act to sign to Pitch Black Records’ ever growing roster of diverse acts is Nicosia/Larnaca (Cyprus) based outfit Blynd.
Despite having formed way back in 2003, Blynd haven’t really been that active on the studio front, with only a couple of demos (2004’s ‘Embraced And Abandoned’ and 2007’s ‘The Human Touch’) and one full-length effort (2010’s ‘The Enemy’, which was pressed to one thousand copies and released through Fishbone Records) to their name. But after a couple of years laying low, the four piece outfit (Comprising of vocalist/bassist Andreas Paraschos, guitarists George Masouras and Constantinos Constantinou and drummer Alex Iacovou) is back with their Pitch Black Records debut ‘Punishment Unfolds’.
Pinning down Blynd’s sound is a bit of a challenge, as the band manages to incorporate several different influences and styles throughout the ten tracks on their latest effort ‘Punishment Unfolds’. There’s no denying that a strong groove metal sound that underpins the vast majority of the band’s songs, but there’s also elements of thrash metal and melodic death metal as well. Under normal circumstances, this hybrid mix of styles would make for a confused and inconsistent listen. But somehow, Blynd manage to make their mix of sounds and styles work throughout, which ensures that ‘Punishment Unfolds’ remains a great listen throughout.
The album starts off with ‘Divine Gathering’ - an orchestral/choral piece (Which was written by co-producer/mixer/engineer Philip Zilfo) that incorporates some industrial elements to create a truly stirring piece of soundtrack work. After the song’s climatic ending, the introduction of thrashing guitars is brought up into the mix and the band get things underway with ‘Arrival Of The Gods’. Part groove metal and part melodic death metal, ‘Arrival Of The Gods’ is an infectious blast of metal that hits hard, and yet retains a catchiness on both the death growled vocal and guitar front that is undeniably appealing. And if that wasn’t enough, the song also features some explosive lead work as well, which showcases the true talents within the group.
The title track ‘As Punishment Unfolds’ is a fast paced and rhythmic/heavily grooved detour into melodic death metal territory that boasts some great vocal trade-offs between Paraschos and guest vocalist Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ), while ‘Never For The Fallen’ (Which is opened by a spoken word quote from Charles Manson) is a straightforward grooving thrasher that pummels the listener into submission with its diverse array of catchy riffs, clean melodic lead work and varying tempo changes.
‘Sins To The Cross’, which features a guest appearance from Winter’s Verge vocalist George Charalambous, is a bit more left of centre sounding with a touch of power metal seeping into the band’s overall sound, while ‘The Chosen Few’ (The promotional video clip for this song is included here on the C.D. as a bonus) and ‘Divine Conspiracy’ appear to be a little more stripped back than anything on the album, and therefore could be considered the weaker sounding efforts to appear on the album.
But despite a couple of less than stellar moments around the middle of the album, the tail end of the album still packs plenty of punch, with the progressively melodic death metal edged ‘Convicted In The Devil’s Land’, ‘The Final Resistance’ (Which features some experimentation in guitar sounds to great effect) and the adventurous closer ‘Infinity Race’ all standing out as highlights.
Blynd is a difficult act to pin down in the genre sense, but if there’s one thing that can be agreed upon, it’s that ‘Punishment Unfolds’ is one impressive release.
All up, ‘Punishment Unfolds’ comes highly recommended, and Blynd the kind act worthy of keeping an eye on in the future.

For more information on Blynd, check out - http://www.blyndmetal.com/

© Justin Donnelly