Loudblast – Burial Ground

loudblastI would love to enter this review with a nostalgic arsenal of Loudblast tunes rattling around my head to compare and contrast Burial Ground, the bands 7th full-length album since 1985, and really hold this death metal slab to the fires of judgement. It seems weird for me to say that this is the first material I have ever heard from this French quartet, especially since I have been such a die hard seeker for this kind of thing since the 80’s. Bands just slip through the cracks and maybe I gave up my French DM conquest upon being leveled by Mercyless’ excellent Abject Offerings back in the day. Those were the years when searching wasn’t as easy in a small Northern Michigan town since the Internet wasn’t around yet, money was much tighter then, and Loudblast releases were always restricted by steep import prices. But I digress and unleash Burial Ground for the first time. First impression time…

You can tell there are old souls at the heart of Loudblast for their brand of death metal doesn’t initially strike me as being blatantly influenced by anyone. Tracks range from uptempo and aggressive scorchers with really innovative solo work, only to corrode into a minor death-n-roll freedom with dissnonant chord embelishments when the riffs strip away slightly complex fingering for a solid power chord groove. Loudblast’s music does get busier, but never falls into perplexing tech death which bodes well for the interesting flow and structure within their songs. I find myself time and again being surprised where the songs go. You think you have Loudblast figured out and they keep on throwing in atypical changes or riff ideas that keeps them in a surprising realm all their own. Discernible mid-range death growls are the main delivery on Burial Ground, but not limited to them as a more aggressive shouting style and other variations on the death theme intertwine to further offer up multi-dimensions for Loudblast to explore.

Burial Ground is a difficult beast to hammer down. Loudblast is an entity that feeds from the oldest part of the cemetery, but isn’t afraid to envelop their sound and some of the more forward thinking ideas with a modern metal sound. It’s a challenging mix, for this band isn’t overly brutal, technical, groovy, or Swedish sounding… dare I say they present themselves in a very “French” way in their quest to stand alone? For this I applaud the band for their efforts and have enjoyed Burial Ground for the most part, but there is just something going on here that I can’t put my finger on that prevents me from fully embracing what they are doing. Is it too different? Burial Ground certainly isn’t way out in left field, but skewed just enough to make me indifferent since I again lack a history in evolving with this bands long and rocky past. I think what it is in closing… as the album progresses, it loses it’s overall punch, relying on the aforementioned power chord rhythms and it does eventually start sounding a bit barren in light of the more complex tracks found at Burial Ground’s beginning. This could be a grower. We shall see. -Marty
Listenable Records

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~ by martyworm on June 4, 2014.

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