Review Summary: Blindside's fifth release "The Great Depression" takes a bit of a new direction for them. It's dark, gloomy, and sad, not quite their best work, but still a great listen.
After Blindside’s front man Christian returned from South Africa, inspiration had hit him, and “The Great Depression” is what follows. They weren’t really planning on releasing an album so soon after “About A Burning Fire”, but they decided to go with it. This is definitely Blindside’s most experimental release to date. Blindside is definitely not a band that is afraid to change their sound, what with their first two albums being hardcore, and then their next two releases moving toward a more mainstream sound, “The Great Depression” isn’t a total remake of their sound, but they’ve tried incorporating new things like a little bit of electronics, while a couple of songs remind you of their older hardcore sound. Giving us something new and different, and not to mention a little dark, and well, depressed.
Christian Lindskog - Vocals
Simon Grenehed - Guitar
Thomas Naslund - Bass
Marcus Dahlstrom- Drums
“The Great Depression” brings a lot of emotion into its music. Christian’s vocals are more raw and emotional on this album than their last records. The lyrics are deeper, and more personal. Relating to Christian and his experiences in South Africa, the mood of the album is sad and sorrowful, and yet songs like “When I Remember” still manage to be hopeful. “Sunshine breaks through the clouds/ I can cry out of sorrow and joy/ I’m not forgotten/ I feel sunshine in the rain” sings Christian. I think that in trying to keep the entire mood of the album dark it limited them in their creativity, and some of the tracks can drag on like “You Must Be Bleeding Under Your Eyelids” and “My Alibi”.
Instrumentally I don’t find anything extraordinary. Simon has never stood out to me as a top notch guitarist, but I can’t really find any faults that stand out either. He’s got some very catchy riffs in “Fell In Love With The Game”. Thomas on the bass isn’t half bad as well. He’s got some pretty good runs and intros throughout the album especially on “Ask Me Now”. The bass does tend to get drowned out like with so many other bands but when it’s audible it’s quite decent even if it can be a little simple. The drums I think are quite acceptable. Marcus does a great job at keeping the songs moving all the while throwing in some rolls here and there. The one thing that is stand out on this album and every other Blindside album is Christians vocals. His voice is just amazing. He can scream relentlessly, and sing captivatingly all the while so full of emotion. When you put these guys together I just can’t get enough of it.
Throughout the ten years that this band has been together the song structure they use does get abused, and a verse followed by a powerful chorus soon thereafter follows a bridge has been used for a majority of their songs. Sadly enough they still haven’t moved too far from this and this pattern has been used for a majority of the tracks on “The Great Depression” as well. This is probably their biggest downfall.
Some of my stand-out tracks from this album are “Yemkela” which is about a ten-year old with AIDS that Christian met in South Africa. It is one of the more hardcore tracks on the album. The screaming doesn’t ever stop and it’s just full throttle from beginning to end (besides a little guitar outro). The first single off the album is also one to look out for. “Fell In Love With The Game” is great. It features an incredibly catchy chorus and is all around a great song. My favorite part is the bridge were Christian sings “You take me by the hand and I grab you by the throat/ and we wrestle in the mud and the blood and the beer”. Maybe my favorite track “When I Remember” ends the album on a hopeful note. The chorus on this one is just epic and I’m not too sure what else makes me like this song so much. Probably by now you realize that I am a fan boy, and well it’s true. I really enjoy every track on the album.
Well to wrap it up, “The Great Depression” takes a few different steps than their previous releases. Some of the bad is that most of the songs have the same pattern, and while trying to keep the same mood a few of the songs can drag on. While some good is that this album feels a little more raw and full of emotion. Christian’s vocals as always are outstanding. All around I think this is a great album Blindside tried some new things, and while I don’t think it’s quite as good as “About A Burning Fire” or “Silence” I also don’t think it’s that far from it.