BL’AST! – Blood

Blast-Blood-Artwork

By Gruesome Greg

A long-lost recording from the California hardcore crew with the new guy from Alice in Chains, remastered by Dave Grohl himself? OK, so you’ve piqued my interest. This record was apparently recorded in the late 80’s, promptly shelved, then left to sit in someone’s basement for quite some time before finally seeing the light of day.

We’ve got eleven tunes here spanning a mere thirty-two minutes, so it’s a bit surprising that the first one runs over five, “Only Time Will Tell” taking its take in building up an ambiance that I swear to Satan is downright doomy. Was not expecting that. Of course, that only lasts for a couple minutes before a driving, buzzsaw riff takes over, signalling a decidedly faster tempo over a crashing backbeat, that nevertheless slows down into haunting, menacing math-rock past the three-minute mark. Hey, this kinda reminds me of the very first Neurosis…

Things are noticeably faster elsewhere, tunes like “Ssshhh” and “Sometimes” displaying some of that Discharge sneer, but again with a few jagged, angular, mathy riffs thrown in for good measure. There are even scorch-marks of pre-blackened metal to be found throughout this frantic foray. And I’m digging the bass intro to “Your Eyes,” a doomy, gloomy number that’s all done in a minute thirty-eight. “Sequel” has a similar feel initially, though it’s more than twice as long at 3:46, and contains a killer change-of-pace to some lightning-fast riffage, preceding an unexpected stop-start section. Again, shades of very early Neurosis, and considering that the latter were cutting their teeth around this time, one has to wonder who inspired who?

(Southern Lord)

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.