Blind Eye Era
Blind Eye Era


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
February 9th, 2009 | 49 replies | 8,992 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A unique blend of early 90s techno and modern mainstream metal that sometimes seems bent on destroying itself with a dated synth sound.

When I listen to albums from unsigned bands I try to approach it a little differently than I would an “official” release. I try to go into it with the understanding that it’s probably not a band with years of experience under their belt. I also assume that there’s no big name producer focusing and dictating a direction for the music (something a lot of new bands actually do need). Basically, I’m trying to say that I go into it expecting flaws but try to see the potential as well. Blind Eye Era plays a hybrid of mainstream metal and full-on techno and they make my job fairly easy because there aren’t any huge flaws and there is a lot of potential to be found.

From a commercial standpoint their biggest potential lies in their vocalist, Shaun Henry. He has a very strong voice that is able to convey a lot of emotion over the techno-synth and crunchy riffs. The closest comparison would be to Red’s vocalist except this guy has a larger range and doesn’t use any screams (with one notable exception). The flaw here is that, at this point, the songwriting isn’t strong enough to take full advantage of his voice. Songs such as “This Dying Day” just don’t have a strong enough chorus to really stick and take them to the next level. It’s not an album-wide issue but it’s consistent enough to be a small annoyance. Vocally, the largest annoyance comes from the track “Iron Wizard”. For whatever reason the band brought in a guy to growl through most of the lyrics and it simply doesn’t work. A lot of this album’s strength is found in the emotional vocal delivery and those weak growls simply don’t deliver on that front or even on an aggressive front.

Fortunately, those growls are an isolated incident because musically there is a lot of potential. Their unique mixture of catchy metal riffs and techno synths puts them in a position to stand apart from their peers; the problem is that the techno they’ve decided to take from sounds very dated. It’s mostly the kind of shrill, rhythmic synth that was found on almost all early 90s Wax Trax and TVT releases. They’ve managed to make that sound work on a majority of the songs, but when they fail it can get pretty bad. When the bouncy, piercing synth of “Arm of the Curse” begins it’s almost enough to get the song skipped before it even begins. The element that saves songs such as “Arm of the Curse” is the riffs. When the dated synth-sound seems hell-bent on ruining all credibility, his riffs are often able to come in and save the song with their crunchy, yet catchy sound.

The thing that gives me hope for these guys reaching their full potential is that there quite a few songs that come close already, and one that totally hits the mark. The song that fulfills on all of this band’s promise is “Sorrow Runs”. The synth on this song avoids sounding dated by dropping a lot of the stereotypical techno sound and moving in a more cold direction. The riffs are also some of the best on the album, complimenting the cold synth with an energetic, yet mechanical heaviness in the verses and a catchy subtlety in the chorus. This song is also one of the few to fully capitalize on the strong vocals, delivering one of more emotional and catchy choruses I’ve heard in a while. This is definitely the kind of thing I hope to hear more of from them in the future.

While I’ve tried to highlight both the high and low points of this album, it should be stressed that overall this is a very enjoyable listen. The main issue is the dated synth sound that is frequently used, but the quality of the riffs and vocals are generally enough to make up for it. I guess I could just bring this right down to money since I bought it on iTunes. Basically, do I regret spending $9.99 on this album? The answer is “no”. This is easily good enough to warrant the price I paid and I predict that it will receive multiple listens in the coming months, but every time I listen I’ll be hoping for a more modern approach to the electronics next time.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 10th 2009



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is just a quick and dirty review by request of MisterBeefy.
There's 4 or 5 songs from this album here:
www.myspace.com/blindeyeera

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Rugter32
February 10th 2009



754 Comments


Well, nice review. Will check tomorrow. Sounds kinda interesting.

MisterBeefy
February 10th 2009



244 Comments


Thanks for doing this willie. Glad to see you enjoyed it. Just a few things that you got wrong.(which you had no idea of actually knowing)

Shaun doesn't actaully change his vocals on Iron wizard. It's a completely different person doing the growls altogether.(Kyle baer)

In the introduction you got the band name wrong. 'black eye era.'

Other then that great review for doing it so quick.
This Message Edited On 02.10.09

Willie
Moderator
February 10th 2009



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No problem. I listened to this a few times last night, a few times today and then again while writing it.

Thanks for the correction. That actually makes me happier that Shaun didn't do the growls because hopefully that means there's less of a chance of them re-appearing.

Fuck, I said this was a quick write-up but I did try to find those types of errors...

* All Fixed *This Message Edited On 02.10.09

Oblivioncry
February 10th 2009



601 Comments


really nice review, the singer is amazing, but somehow could be so much more in some songs.

the first song SOOO KICKS ASS!!!

i guess if they are produced they'd be the techno/metal kinda band like does it offend you is techno/rock

Willie
Moderator
February 10th 2009



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with the first two things, but have no idea what that last sentence means.

Oblivioncry
February 10th 2009



601 Comments


well the band 'does it offend you?' is a techno/rock band, and i guess BEE will once they have a good producer become pretty much like DIOY?

only better coz BEE's metal riffs>DIOY rock hocks ;)This Message Edited On 02.10.09This Message Edited On 02.10.09

gaslightanthem
February 10th 2009



5209 Comments


I think he's referring to the band 'Does It Offend You, Yeah?' who are actually on the sputnik database but you have to search the band name followed by sputnikmusic in google to get to it thanks to one of the delightful bugs this site has. They're really popular in the UK, kind of a dance/techno rock band - got a large scene following.
Anyway good review as usual Willie.

gaslightanthem
February 10th 2009



5209 Comments


oh hey look guess i got beat to it

Oblivioncry
February 10th 2009



601 Comments


your explanation has more insight gas, so dont worry ;)

Willie
Moderator
February 10th 2009



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh, ok. I'd never heard of that band before but now I'm going to have to look into it. This band could fall under techno/rock or techno/metal, but there's enough heavier riffs that it seemed more metal than rock. Thanks for the explanation

gaslightanthem
February 10th 2009



5209 Comments


yeah they're worth looking into and they have some catchy songs but it's not something you'd be listening to a year later if you know what i mean ;)

Oblivioncry
February 10th 2009



601 Comments


they got two really good songs, you really should check out (epic last song and dawn of the dead), i think nick butler has a review for their album

anyway BEE's riff are awesome and even save some of the songs like army of curseThis Message Edited On 02.10.09

Willie
Moderator
February 10th 2009



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah they're worth looking into and they have some catchy songs but it's not something you'd be listening to a year later if you know what i mean
Oh, if that's true than this is better because I could see myself still listening to this after a year. Apparently this is MisterBeefy's friend's band or something.
anyway BEE's riff are awesome and even save some of the songs like army of curse
ha ha, are you just sarcastically quoting the review now?This Message Edited On 02.10.09

gaslightanthem
February 10th 2009



5209 Comments


oh right that's pretty cool, and aha yeah this band is probably better but then a lot of people seem to like DIOYY? a lot more than I do
i'll probably look into this over the next few weeks or so if possible

Oblivioncry
February 10th 2009



601 Comments


rather ironically ;)

anyway the first song really gets me to headbang and dance all through the room ^^This Message Edited On 02.10.09

BallsToTheWall
February 10th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Have you checked out Innerpartysystem Willie? I think you would love them no doubt. Electro-rock they are. Summary had me sold into checking this out. Blackened Seas kiciks ass. I probaly will acquire this. Ace work.


This bands myspace introduced me to an awesome celtic/ thrash band called Battlesoul. And supposedy and old guitar player from heer plays in there. Wow, fucking find of the day. This Message Edited On 02.10.09

MisterBeefy
February 10th 2009



244 Comments


Anyone who hasn't seen them live is missing out, absolutely amazing performance. Oh and willie your lucky this cd only cost you 10$. Bastards made me pay 20$ for the actual cd.
Face the forgiveness, and no heaven, just hillsides are kick*** tunes.

Yeah I was introduced to this band through there bassists little brother who I went to highschool with.

Also the vocalist from Does it offend you, yeah? is kind of annoying.This Message Edited On 02.10.09

CushMG15
February 10th 2009



1802 Comments


This is kind of cool actually. Some of the synths are really lame, but they do a pretty decent job with the metal parts. Good job on the review.

Willie
Moderator
February 10th 2009



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So, I listened to "Does it Offend You" and it doesn't really sound like this at all (thankfully). DIOY sounds like an 80s pop band with a bit of modern elements. I didn't like it.
I hadn't heard Innerpartysystem either. I like that a lot more, but they don't really sound like this either.

Oh and willie your lucky this cd only cost you 10$. Bastards made me pay 20$ for the actual cd.
Not even established bands can justify $20 for a fucking CD. Damn. Well, at least you liked it or that would have been a waste.





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