Blindside - Blindside
Christian Lindskog - Vocals
Simon Grenehed - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tomas Naslund - Bass
Marcus Dahlstrom - Drums
Blindside is a Swedish band and this was their first major release. This album, and their second album were both more Hardcore based, whilst their most recent two albums have edged more towards a Nu-Metal sound. Originally signed to Tooth and Nail records, their switch to Elektra was a likely cause of the change in their sound. One of the few Christian bands I really enjoy, this is a fantastic album.
When I first bought this album a couple weeks ago, it was a more or less blind buy because I had not heard more than two of their songs from this period. I have not regreted my decision since and this album has been on my current rotation frequently. I have been to two concerts by these guys and had their two latest albums, but this was entirely different, and I really didn't recognize them at first. That did not subtract from the greatness of this album by any means, however.
This album came out in 1997 and was a great Hardcore release that has since inspired many more popular Hardcore bands today without a doubt. This is a very cohesive band, and this album is full of energy. Not to mention the fantastic lyrics Christian comes up with. Track by track:
Invert: Starts out with some sound bytes in what I assume is Swedish, then comes in guitar feedback, and then a heavily distorted guitar riff. It drops out with some harmonics and the drums and bass take it away. The guitar comes back in with the riff joined by the vocals this time. Christian's screaming drives the energy level up yet one more notch. The vocals are truly addictive, so much rhythm it is almost like rapping at points, but screamed, and, just incredible. Ends with more sound bytes and feedback. One of my favorite tracks on the albums, and builds the energy of this album up well from the start.
Born: Comes in with a cleaner guitar riff, drums come in and it becomes distorted, then in the verse the instruments lay back and the feel is more laid back, and the whole track actually feels a little spacey. Near the end it builds up and becomes much harder with a crazy breakdown ending the song.
Empty Box: Hard and fast from the start. One of the best parts of this band is the ease which they slip from insanity to more laid back verses, and back into high energy choruses. This song is a great example of that fluidity. Lots of changes in this song for a 4 minute song. Lots of change ups make this song impossible to get bored listening to.
Superman: Comes in with a neat bass and guitar riff, very fun to listen to. Builds up gradually to an intense chorus, then drops back again. The buildups in this song are incredible. Heavy palm-muting and offbeat ride cymbal at the end makes for a fun outro.
Nerve: Drum sticks click four times, They don't come in, four more clicks, it comes in. Hard to describe it, but very funny to listen to. Both Christian and Simon are rather dominant vocally in this song. The duality they have adds more spice to already great vocals. I love what they do with the guitar in the break in this song, but I don't know what it is. Something like flange+feedback, very cool.
This Shoulder: Lots of palm-muting in this song...great rumble if you have good bass. One of the lighter songs on the album actually, almost like older Limp Bizkit at some points.
Replay: Bass and drums back up the vocals during the soft parts, and the guitar adds the depth and drive during the harder and faster parts. Really catchy song. Drum roll summons a really great ending that would be crazy in a mosh pit.
One Mind: Guitar is the most prominent instrument present for a majority of this song, over powering the vocals a lot at points even. It blends really well with the vocals just slightly behind it, and is very melodic. Drum beat is really cool during the slower interlude. Everything drops out at one point, but the guitar brings it all back in for the outro in yet another fantastic buildup.
Liberty: Another bass intro on this song. Lots of delay on the guitar, and fading right to left and back again, very cool sounding. Quick spurts of a drive towards harder music, but refrains from totally breaking that barrier until well into the song. This is probably the other great example of the fluidity this band has shifting from hard to soft in an instant. About 2/3 of the way through the song it really starts to climax, and it is phenomenal.
Daughter: Similar to a few other tracks on the album, more of the same great Hardcore this band does so well and in so many ways. If you aren't into Hardcore though, you will probably end up skipping this song because of its similarity to a few previous tracks.
Teddybear: This is my other favorite track on this CD. Good flow coming in from the previous song, and Christian has so much emotion in this song. Many many shifts between hard and soft here. The chorus is super catchy. "I'm no teddybear, I'm no teddybear!" It will be stuck in your mind by the time the song is done, and you will likely end up even singing along. One of the highest energy tracks on the CD, impossible to describe the greatness of this song.
Never: Lots of harmonics to start with, this is another song that showcases the cohesion this band has. Every two seconds it goes between hard and soft, which is more than anything a tribute to Christian's range and talent. Lots of great drumming in this song as well. Marcus has a great sense of timing. Bass and guitar outro softly to end this CD.
Overall, a great album by a great band, and the cohesion this band shows in this debut album is nothing short of incredible. They have their system down all ready, and they have it down well. This is a must buy for any Hardcore fans, but I would recommend any person look into this album and at the very least listen to Invert and Teddybear. The reason I am not giving this album a 5 is there are a few very similar tracks which detracts from the variety, but it is one of the most energetic CDs I have ever listened to, and I thoroughly enjoy every song on it.