Upon the moment I first clicked play on Blame‘s new album Almanac, I knew that I would be experiencing something blisteringly powerful and fresh; I knew this would be a band that wastes no time in delivering brutality and grooviness. And although technical death metal may have some critics saying that the genre has a largely homogenous sound, Ukrainian outfit Blame proves those critics wrong with a rather diverse collection of songs, some focusing more on melodic approaches, some on rhythmic qualities and brutality. The end result is a fresh new band added to the realms of technical death metal!
Crushing Tech-Death that Wastes No Time
Let me start with what is especially striking about this album: The BASS! Utilizing some of the very percussive elements that this wondrous instrument is capable of, the bass effectively adds to the intensity of the crushing guitar riffs, which was largely refreshing to me, since I have not heard anything like it yet. It gives the songs on the album a very intense drive and tightness that will make your face contort in joy. The album’s opener, “War”, wastes no time in causing the listener to stagger in surprise with diminished arpeggiated riffs delivered by guitarist and songwriter Valeri Golub, unbelievably fast and tight drumming by the legendary George Kollias, and phenomenal vocal work by frontman Anich Andrew. It is especially remarkable how their musicianship enables even simple syncopated riffs to really groove with unending ferocity.
However, as I said before, Blame explore more melodic approaches as well. Take the title track “Almanac”, for instance. Within the first chorus, the vocalist’s growling is phrased in a way that is very similar to how a clean vocalist might have approached it, and upon the arrival of the second chorus, we hear clean vocals being used for the first (and only) time on the album. This was a very nice melodic touch to the otherwise heavy music, preventing the listener from becoming bored by the same formula being overused. Furthermore, this album cannot be reviewed without the mentioning of the immaculate guitar solo phrasing! The guitar solos throughout Almanac‘s runtime have beautiful high-register melodies and glissandos, which highlight the great musicality of the guitarist rather than just his technically proficient playing.
Bright Future for the band
The musicians on this record are obviously very competent songwriters and instrumentalists. Through the combination of the intense bass and guitar work of Golub, the famously fast and furious drumming of Kollias, and the solid vocals of Andrew, they have created a record which shines bright amidst the vast influx of new technical death metal bands joining the scene nowadays.
This record has me believing that very soon, this band will have a large prominence in the tech-death scene as well as the genre of death metal altogether. In just under 18 minutes, they have managed to deliver a very tight and solid album which doesn’t linger around for too long. They are a very refreshing and fun new band to listen to, and although it’s admittedly very short, Almanac packs a big punch! If you are a fan of bands like Soreption, The Zenith Passage, Gorod, etc., you will find this album to gain your approval very quickly. And even if you aren’t a fan of this particular genre, you may find it very appealing as well. As stated before, Blame have managed to prove the critics of tech-death wrong, so do give them a thorough listen!
Notable Tracks: “War”; “Almanac”; “Victory”
FFO: Gorod, Soreption, Nile