Blynd - Liber Sum - (7/10)
Published on January 23, 2016
The small metal community in Cyprus has brought for a smaller yet noteworthy number of oddities, perhaps the greatest enigma of the bunch being the fairly long-running modern groove/thrash metal outfit Blynd. It should be noted from the get go that the label of modern groove/thrash metal is what the band self-identifies as being, and while it’s probably the best label to place upon their sound, it does present something of a deceiving picture given all of the other stuff going on in their music running parallel to the obvious influences from the likes of Machine Head, Lamb Of God and The Haunted. In truth, trying to fully describe all the moving parts in a combination of metal sub-genres would probably amount of a veritable word salad, particularly insofar as their latest LP Liber Sum is concerned, so a fair degree of latitude should be assumed with the accompanying term “modern” being thrown into the mix.
In essence, this album could be likened to a nightmarish amalgamation of melodic death metal, modern thrash, symphonic black metal and metalcore, each one of these elements occurring here and there along the fringes, painting over a foundation that is largely built off the thick, pounding character of modern groove oriented bands that have been heavily popular since around the mid 2000s, though lately the style has been declining a little bit. The symphonic moments are extremely blunt and in your face when they chime in, literally to the point of hitting Fleshgod Apocalypse territory at points including but not limited to the opening number “Breads And Circuses”, but they don’t occur long and often enough to put the band in the exact same stylistic territory. The same generally goes with all the other elements, though the vocals are exclusively toneless shouts that would probably justify an accompanying melodic death metal tag to their style designation.
As far as modern albums go, this one is pulled off competently, but all the variable influences in play do make for a somewhat disconnected feel from one song to the next, and sometimes even within individual songs. For example, the generally mid-paced “Aes Cyprium” largely sticks to a Gothenburg feel and tends to sound like something off Slaughter Of The Soul with some occasional nods to recent works by Arch Enemy is well done, but when coupled the blackened and chaotic fit of violence of a title song “Liber Sum”, the level of contrast is almost large enough to make one question if two different bands played these songs. A lot of it is a matter of having too many good ideas and just throwing them all into the mix, which occasionally robs things of a needed level of coherence, whereas at other points the band’s ambition causes them to end up in somewhat comical territory, such as the over-the-top Utopian political speech that’s spliced into the end of “The Kingdom Within”, which clashes so strongly with the cynical character of the music that even if it was put in with sarcastic intentions, it just doesn’t work and comes off as hokey.
All the same, this is a pretty decent overall experience as far as modern metal goes, despite occasionally lacking coherence and going overboard on trying to make a generally straightforward style sound theatrical. This is definitely geared towards an audience that follows The Haunted, later works by The Crown, and generally anyone who finds the results of the noise wars on melodic death and thrash metal, as well as the evolution that came in when the style was adopted by American metalcore bands to be a pleasing one. It’s not quite my cup of tea, but it’s definitely decent for what it is and should play well with it’s intended audience.