LOUDBLAST - Burial Ground
May 27, 2014, 6 years ago
French death metallers Loudblast were one of the moderately known of death metal's second tier back in the early '90s, one of those bands many of us knew the name of but were, quite honestly, unfamiliar with. But we knew what they sounded like all the same. This album brings up some questions, mainly if the band has been puttering away in the second tier ever since then, or was there a period of inactivity? It's hard to keep up (quick: they broke up in '99, got back together in '02, and have put out a bunch of full-lengths you didn't know about, every single one on a different label). As for Burial Ground, Listenable is the biggest and most reputable label the band's been on since forever, so it makes you think fresh beginnings are at hand here. And opener "A Bloody Oath" certainly starts things off with authority, a slow-burner of a sludge-death anthem giving way to speed as things straddle the line between Floridian and Euro death, all old school all the way. And with that it becomes clear that all those Loudblast albums we missed out on probably all sounded alike, the band's Vader-by-way-of-Morbid-Angel sound nailed, sealed, and shuttered, the sound veering towards a more Malevolent Creation thrash-on-death sound at times ("Ascending Straight In Circles" is basically catchy thrash heavied up), everything adequate, skilled, and just interesting enough ("Soothing Torments"' cool guitar work and the epic, melodic "The Void," for example) to make you wonder why exactly these guys stayed on the second tier all these years.