BLOT MINE plays Black Metal. And they’re from Sweden. Exciting you think? Probably not and indeed BLOT MINE is musically not reinventing the wheel, yet they are a very good band. The strength of these guys lay in their lyrics. Far from trying to copy the often seen Satanism or nature worship aspect many Black Metal bands give to their lyrics, BLOT MINE does things different. They have created a whole philosophy which can be read at their site and in the booklet in which they explain their take on humanity, the role of science in it, life beyond earth and basically the origins of everything, of course still with evil being a main factor.
I don’t agree with everything they say and some might consider it far fetched, but that is irrelevant. It’s more important to see a band taking their words seriously. Now the music: both the band members and people involved in the recording should ring a bell. For one the album is produced with Tommy Tägtgren and their ’99 debut “Porphyrogenesis” was produced by Andy LaRoque. Then the band members themselves stem from better known act as SETHERIAL and MIDVINTER.
What reaches the ear is brutal and cold Black Metal with a definite Swedish touch. The combination of production, drum-style and concept doesn’t create a DARKTHRONE style coldness however, but a more modern feeling. Their counterparts LEGION come to mind, especially in the opening song, but BLOT MINE plays purer Black Metal. This means that there are barely any keyboards and blastbeats aplenty with excellent, often high-pitched, tremolo-riffing creating the full atmosphere.
“Right Of Way” together with the final track is somewhat different from the rest. The former containing some small background keyboards and focusing more on hypnotic chords then for example mighty barrage of the title track “Ashclouds”. Like with any decent Black Metal album the guitars are most upfront in the mix. The rhythm section is also prominently there while the vocals are turned down a bit thus making them more part of the bigger whole. This works particularly well when BLOT MINE is blasting at full power, which they are most of the time.
A good album that shows nothing that hasn’t been done before, but has a great execution and holds enough quality and creativity in the guitar and drum department to still be exciting. (Online January 2, 2006)