Review Summary: Prepare yourself for some major furious intensity.
Imagine a Nimitz class aircraft carrier manned by Vikings, crashing onto land plowing through steel warehouses holding thousands of tanks wired for the deployment of their turrets. As ridiculously absurd as that sounds, it is my random imaginary description of what The Blinding Light sound like: crazy heavy. More practically and realistically, I would say they are Converge if Tom Araya of Slayer was the frontman. But again, this is strictly for superficial comparison purposes only, for The Blinding Light produce a unique brand of style on their own. But to reiterate, it is relentlessly heavy.
On top of the aggression, much of the sound projects a very gritty and dirty feel to it, assisted majorly by the production quality. It feels very raw, like a direct spawning from the garage. The quality thus is nowhere near perfect, but in a way, it helps accentuate their style, very appropriate for the sound they go for. That being said, keep it in mind for the descriptions of the instrumentals.
Vocalist Bryan Lovro is sonically destructive, slapped with a guarantee to decrease your hearing abilities by at least fifty percent. As I said, the majority of the time, he sounds uncannily like Tom Araya from Slayer, delivering a persistent throaty yell. He varies his vocals slightly in some tracks changing from a restless speaking to a whiny singing, the closest to clean vocals you will find. Lovro sometimes does a cross between the three styles giving a weird raspy scream/talking such as in “Snake Killer.” But either way, these digressions from his normal yelling will not be common so don’t expect too much of it. They just provide a nice quick and sometimes very needed variation.
The heavy guitar onslaught is not all dissimilar from older hardcore acts such as Earth Crisis as well as some contemporaries such as Every Time I Die and Sick of It All. The introduction to the closer “Alive” even has a very static-y nu-metal sound. But the fusion of thrash, hardcore, and metal throughout is very apparent. The bass handled by Terry Taylor is also to be heard several times throughout, instead of always being conciliatory to the guitars. A quick tangential riff can be heard several times throughout. The calmer albeit still disquieting introductory riffs of tracks like “Hydrant” and “Earth Razor” are very reminiscent of Dystopia (especially “Hands that Mold”). The single dampened guitar playing a discordant riff as the tom-heavy drums fall in. Going along with the subdued sounds, the quick and quiet interludes of “Wake Up/The Wind Up” and “I Can’t Slow Down” (appropriate title) have a very eerie feel, almost like a demented kabuki in a sense. Aside from these brief sections however, the band suffers from a slight lack of dynamics, with all songs more or less staying on the forte plus side.
The tight drums are impeccable and overall, very impressive and of course very intense. There are plenty of blast beats, breakdowns, and utter chaos to be found. The sound even pours over into some grind aspects with the endless double bass and snare attack. Additionally, the cymbal sounds have a very nice sound to them: a raw and dirty, almost muffled sound from the production quality.
The majority of the songs are four to five minutes long, and provide for an ever-punishing yet slightly epic feel. This is especially the case in the album’s longest song “Hydrant,” one of the best tracks. Within the ongoing forty-two and a half minutes, there is one thing that no one will miss, whether you enjoy this or not: as you may already tell from what I’ve thus far said, the energy and passion manifested in each song is explicit and undeniable. The vibrant, firey, soaring album cover says it all. They absolutely do not hold back at all. The music is an incitement to pick up whatever is around you and destroy it, maybe create some fires. And I am quite curious as to what they would be like live.
Now I’ve used a couple exaggerations here in my review, which reminds me to mention the main con of the album. Like hyperboles, the album seems to be driven primarily by sheer and sometimes unnecessary force and power. Much like Converge, which took me several repeated listens to start enjoying due to its ruthlessness, this album will probably garner the same necessity. I’ve had this album for a while so I’m very familiar and comfortable with the audio assault and enjoy it very thoroughly. In any case, this may also be seen by some as a positive. Nevertheless, it is nothing detrimental to the album and my score, and it is definitely worth a listen, especially for those that love the no-limit fury of thrash and hardcore.