Heavier than heaven and fucking pissedâ€¦
My exposure to Blacklisted
prior to this release was fairly minimal. What I did know was that a
hell of a lot of people were talking about this band like they were
the second coming and I for one could not work out what the fuss was
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all about. That aside, I approached Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier
Than God with an open mind and to be perfectly honest, the first
few spins of this disc didn’t really do anything for me, however,
with each listen I’ve found something new that I enjoy.
The opening blast that is “Stations”
doesn’t stray too far from the standard hardcore formula but that’s
not to say that the song doesn’t show some promise, the bouncing breakdown
that kicks in at the sixty-second mark more than makes up for the lack
of individual flair. The machine gun riffing that punctuates “Touch
Test” is only a small portion of the band’s arsenal, the heavy grooves
of the song’s midsection packing as much of a punch as Blacklisted’s
more up-tempo moments.
Although “I Am Weighing Me Down”
is a mid-paced number when compared to the other songs on HTHLTG
it’s no less powerful, the southern rock inspired guitar work coupling
with George’s abrasive vocal style in a seamless fashion, while
“Always” conjures up the energetic performances of New York legends Sick Of It All.
By this stage of the record it’s
becoming apparent that Blacklisted are more than a one trick
pony, their musical performance taking its cues from bands as diverse
as Pantera and The Hope Conspiracy, and it’s this ability
to fuse these differing styles of heavy music together that makes them
such a unique proposition.
“Memory Layne” is about as
fast and furious and things can get, that is until the blistering pace
halts suddenly to make way for an almost Every Time I Die styled interlude, while “Circuit Breaker” is laced with as many
quiet passages as there are aggressive moments, the shimmering guitars
and driving bass lines guiding the track through four solid minutes
of unorthodox but intriguing song writing. It’s almost as if Blacklisted
felt the need to remind the listener that they are capable of kicking
our collective arses, as “Matrimony” and “Self Explosive” are
minute long shots of pure adrenaline, while “Burning Monk” isn’t
too far behind.
off with the album’s best riff yet, one that is perfectly coupled
with the sleazy rock n roll swagger of George’s vocals while
the meandering “Wish” closes the album out, the whole thing clocking
in at less than twenty minutes.
It took a few listens but Heavier
Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God is one hell of a record. The music
is raw and un-polished yet it still displays a sense of maturity that
many bands are sorely lacking, and the vocal performance is second to
none. Bring on their shows next month!