BlindSlaves- Against All

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, November 27, 2011

Groove/thrash metal always seems to be one of those genres that are hit or miss. Particularly in the American scene the style has spawned some truly awful bands, but thankfully the rest of the world seems to be having more success. One of the newcomers is Portugal’s BlindSlaves, whose debut EP Against All mixes elements of groove/thrash metal and some mainstream hard rock. There are still areas that could use some improvement, but as a whole these guys were much stronger than I expected.

One of the first things that listeners will notice is that BlindSlaves has a very polished sound. While many newer acts have a rough around the edges feel to them, the instrumentals are not only well produced but are very tight and you can tell that these guys know what they’re doing. The riffs take a page from the Lamb of God and Pantera playbook, but they are well done and there are some times where the guitarists break into some mellower ideas in order to make the songs distinguishable from each other. Out of the five songs on Against All (there are six tracks, but one is an introduction) all of them have a distinguishable lead riff or solo, and that makes the EP quite strong. I’d like to see if the band is capable of continuing this level of songwriting on a longer effort, but for now they’re definitely impressive.

The vocals on Against All mix the traditional high pitched screaming and low pitched growling with some hard rock style clean singing. This gives BlindSlaves the potential at some mainstream crossover, which could help them to gain additional exposure. However, this EP hasn’t completely convinced me that the clean vocals are at the point they need to be. The screams/growls are very powerful but the clean singing seems to be fairly hit or miss, as on some songs it has the right amount of energy but on others it seems to be struggling to keep up. I don’t think that the band should completely ditch this element as it does keep the vocals from becoming repetitive, but it’s an area they’re really going to have to continue to work on.

While the clean singing does run into some issues, BlindSlaves is still off to an impressive start and could become a noteworthy genre act in the years to come. Considering how many bands of this type I’ve found to be disappointing in recent years, I’m glad that this one has turned out to be enjoyable. Hopefully they’ll continue to grow, and by the time a full length is ready BlindSlaves will have transformed into a force to truly be reckoned with.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Infektion Records

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