Blame - Almanac - (9/10)
Published on April 14, 2018
For those that missed Dark Eyes (like yours truly), the 2014 debut EP from Ukrainian extreme metal band Blame, fret not, for their second EP, Almanac, was released last January and is already standing pat as the bully to beat in the tech death classroom.
At seven songs and 19-and-a-half minutes in duration, Blame once again showcase their prodigious skillset with an astute game-plan that focuses as much on concision as it does creativity. The brainchild of Valeriy Golub, who presumably is in charge of everything sans drums, for which skinsman extraordinaire George Kollias of Nile and Contrarian assumes control, Blame wastes precious little time doling out all manner of tech death tenets while sounding entirely fresh and creating songs that are, dare I say, even memorable.
The record opens with the feverish “War,” two minutes and 35 seconds of absolutely surgical riffs and pummeling drums that proceeds to set the bar ridiculously high. Thankfully, Golub and Kollias are game and follow up with a sextet of tracks that offer a little bit of everything for your discerning modern death metal enthusiast—insane leads and guitar scrapes, pinch harmonics and well-crafted breakdowns, killer bass slapping and a healthy dose of melody, all of which is backed by a strong and forceful vocal performance by Anich Andrew.
The year is still young, but Almanac has proven to be among the most reliable tech death records released thus far. Its sheer energy and power raises this one well above the competition, who, in the end, will have no one to Blame but themselves.