posted on 11/2003 By:
Well here is something unheard of, melodic death metal from Sweden! Blinded Colony’s debut album, Divine, is a slab of up-tempo, by-the-book Gothenburg metal, borrowing heavily from the In Flames-school of melodic death. Divine sounds like an album ripped straight from 1999, mimicking the upbeat, hyper-melodic styling of the faster songs on Colony and Clayman. Their defining characteristic comes in the form of vocalist Niklas Svensson and his unusual delivery. I may be way off-base here, but when he barks out verses he sounds slightly like Serj from System of a Down trying to sing trad metal. The passages that are more traditionally sung, particularly the choruses, resemble later efforts by Gardenian. Musically, Blinded Colony claim to be inspired by all of the usual culprits, and it shows. I’m pleased with the way the rhythm section keeps everything moving at a brisk pace, never quite letting the guitar duo of Johan Blomstrom and Tobias Olsson drift off into too much noodling. The axemen themselves are as capable as anyone in the game, lending credence to the theory that there is something in the water over in Sweden. Everywhere I turn I find skillful, yet unknown, Swedish shredders. The Sound Palace production job is just swell, not overly polished, but the guitars have plenty of bite. The bottom end sounds has a little buzz to it, which works here, because it makes everything feel more frantic. I sense that this band will release some fantastic melodic death in the near future, but the actual songs on Divine aren’t quite up to the level of their idols. I don’t mean to say that they write generic, uninspiring drivel, but this set of nine songs just aren’t the kind of upper-crust material that will replace gems like “Jotun”, “Pinball Map”, and “Colony” (the song) on my list of favorites. “Discrown the Holy” is a fine example of what Blinded Colony is capable of achieving, with superb riffs abound, and Svensson’s vocals set the mood perfectly. “Selfobtained Paranoia” really channels the spirit of Gardenian in the chorus. “Anno Domini 1224” teases with those harmonized leads that don’t show up nearly enough. Blinded Colony has the ingredients necessary to garner some serious attention in the future. The rhythms are there, the riffs and leads are there, but a little more seasoning will benefit these Swedes, especially when you’re trying to break ground in a subgenre that’s already so developed. I’m a Gothenburg slut, so I’m enjoying Divine, and the Diesel-brand air guitar has made a few cameos. If you just can’t get enough of that In Flames sound, you will be pleased with Blinded Colony.
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