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In an industry where no one will bat an eye at you if you do not meet their requirements for “uniqueness” i.e. some stupidly excessive sub-genre hybrid: Spanish folk meets galacticore?, it’s admirable to still see new heavy bands taking the traditional route of good ol’ distortion pedals and breakdowns. Melbourne newcomers Blinded have done exactly that, taking notes from local legends such as Parkway and Prom Queen (namely their earlier catalogues) and begun constructing their own brand of contemporary metalcore.
EP opener ‘Enemy’ starts strong with a flurry of quad rolls leading into a pounding rhythmical assault, overlayed by some guttural screams. Put simply, this is a brutal introduction to the band. One which the subsequent tracks make no apologies for equally exploring. As the song progresses, a clear influence from the ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ days of Parkway shines through, with heavy, punk inspired riffs transitioning into breakdowns, which fall back on themselves into even slower drops, before the drums pick up the pace again.
‘Mourn Her‘ is consistent and adheres to the band’s chosen style. ‘Symphony of Mistakes’ further builds on the noughties era metalcore sound, with the opening riff sounding like something straight out of the suburban garages of 2005. This isn’t a bad thing, however. Rather, it serves as a refreshing throwback to a time of fringes (when they were still mildly acceptable) and piercings, an era where life was so much simpler than pre-programmed djent atmospherics. Blinded have some entertaining riffs up their sleeve here. They just need to allow them to stick around that little bit longer to leave a mark on the audience. The clean sections also need work, but one never knows what a little more recording quality could bring out.
The title track itself is an ideal instrumental breather, with a slow post-rock atmosphere established through the riffs and rising drums. Giving way to ‘The Early Morning’, another metalcore throwback, the hammer-on based main riff thrashes away before dropping into a chorus that sees the bass excelling and the gang chants roaring. Specifically, the use of the bass is suitable here – a weapon often under utilised by fellow bands in the field. While the final breakdown is predictable in its build-up, it’s nevertheless exciting, with the mental image of limbs flying all over venues instantly springing to mind.
‘Eighteen’ rounds out the EP, with the intro showcasing a sludgier side to the local boys, which is not heard throughout the rest of the disc. This moment is one of the release’s highlights, revealing the potential creative expansion Blinded may take in the future. This motif is re-visited later in the song.
Raw and a bit loose around the edges, the Melbourne upstarts have shown enough promise on ‘Mourn Her‘ to justify interest in what comes next.
Blinded have started well with an EP that understandably reflects their influences. While it might not tick every box on the list, it is welcoming to hear a band still doing things the traditional way, with an axe in hand and a normal amount of cymbals around the kit. The only way is up, and by the sounds of things, these guys have already started upon that trajectory.
2. Symphony of Mistakes
3. Mourn Her
4. The Early Morning