Review Summary: Nightmare On Providence Street is not only awfully addictive, it’s easily one of the best albums ever released in the genre.
Formed in 2006, Blind Witness stood as the definition of Metalcore itself. Stood, for alas, they stand no more. Despite leaving a short legacy behind, Blind Witness walked amongst the best and went out as arguably one of the best Metalcore/Deathcore acts ever to emerge from Canada. In order to back me up I could simply bring up Silences Are Words
, which was a beast of a debut LP. But I’m here to tell you about Nightmare On Providence Street
– 35 minutes of relentless Metalcore you’d be a complete fool to miss out on if you’re somewhat fond of the genre.
What happened in the two years since Blind Witness’s debut, Silences Are Words
? First they signed to Mediaskare Records, then they lost the clean singing. And of course, they evolved. It’s also easy to understand how the available budget was different for both albums, but nonetheless I am to mention that the amateur production from the debut is also long, long gone. Onward, Nightmare On Providence Street
is Blind Witness all over again, only angrier, faster and brighter. And naturally, better. The technical evolution of the band is straight out clear, and furthermost, the drums. Throughout the album it’s pretty hard to miss on Eric Morotti’s talent and precision, as he carries Blind Witness into another level on his first studio release with the band. Some good examples of this would be his input on Baby One More Notch
, or if still in doubt, For Life
. But it starts early.
is, well, a prologue. And All Alone
is, well, a massive Deathcore track. With a layout that leaves you earning for more, All Alone
is a great song to launch this vigorous take on modern Metal. It starts fast, with the blast beats that will eventually grow ever so familiar to you as you advance, and then come the breakdowns. Furthermore into this track, you will find a Hardcore flavored section and a solo that would present an injection of freshness into any Deathcore arrangement. As the minutes flow, you will come face to face with the fact that Blind Witness are just about that. The whole album flows supported by blast beats, evident Metalcore riffs, Hardcore sections or breakdowns with occasional group shouts, and a few occasional solos that blend with the band’s sound ever so well. About the Metalcore riffs, they are plentiful and evident, but don’t be fooled by such portrayal. Either it’s the homonym track, These Countless Sleepless Nights
, Baby One More Notch
or the straight out Metalcore masterful Lovely Flesh
, you will find yourself emerged into a sea of tasteful Metalcore riffs, from beginning to end. What tell these riffs apart from the ones you commonly found in this amount, when going through your everyday Metalcore listens? These are catchy, intricately fast and distinct, even for the year of 2010. Besides being good with their riffs and chugs, and as before stated, Maxime Lacroix and Jon Campbell also pull a nice solo occasionally. The way that the solo by the last minute of Lovely Flesh
comes in, for example, you can’t help but to crave for more. The way the guitars develop into the solos is pretty outstanding overall, the only problem being perhaps the lack of moments in which that occurs.
In terms of structure, the album gives you the best flow you could ask for in a Metalcore album. It’s revitalizing how even the most breakdown infested tracks escape to that monotony we all came to expect from any band using more than an adequate number of breakdowns in each song. They have tons of them, but most of them considerate enough not to wear you out in the first couple of playthroughs. The transitions in and out the breakdowns are smooth, helping both breakdowns and songs to flow in a natural way, which also adds to the solidity of the album. Tracks like 10 Minutes Of Clinical Death
, Since The Beginning
and Have You Ever Been Lucky?
carry some of the best breakdowns in the album. Any Deathcore/Metalcore aficionado will endorse me on this one, but still there are dozens of other breakdowns worthy of consideration. (Yes, I do like me some brodowns
, thank you very much). And by now we have reached the (perhaps) most interesting section of the album.
The last three tracks carry out a sequence as it was made on purpose (and probably was). Lovely Flesh
is the best all rounder, having the best Metalcore presentation in the album, only one breakdown (a substantial breakdown too), and a remarkable solo. Nightmare On Providence Street
’s lyrical content is not stellar, despite not being completely awful. Some of the songs have party related lyrics, while others go for a more serious approach, referring to murder, hatred or even religion. But penultimate track For Life
is special. Not only lyrically, but also instrumentally and in terms of vocals, this song is as hardcore and neck braking as their sound comes, breathing new life into the album with its’ Death Metal nuances. Fair is to state that Jonathan Cabana is a very decent vocalist through the whole play, despite revealing a slight difficulty in adding depth to his low pitched growls. Last but not least, The New Year
. Despite its’ discreet approach, this is the track that shows Blind Witness's Melodic Hardcore roots more obviously, and gives us a somewhat distinctive melodic sound and finish with the thoughtful inclusion of what one may refer to as clean singing. Good stuff.
Unrivaled. Say what you will, I am confident that you have never heard something like Nightmare On Providence Street
before. Chances are you’ll find their sound similar to what a lot of bands tried to achieve since the early days of Metalcore, but this is something different, something else. If you’re familiar with Silences Are Words
, you will come looking for something of the likes of As Blood Runs Black or As I Lay Dying. I may as well guarantee you that you won’t find that either. It’s fast, catchy and it’s a singular take on a pretty worn out genre, despite its’ many tag defining moments. Nightmare On Providence Street
can well make you jump of your sit, but it also has the ability to make you wait for a special something that comes from once in a while. It may well gain its’ place in your heart for what it is, making you forget what it’s not , and make you want to explore each song in depth, leading you to realize how solid of an experience the album actually is. Blind Witness was a capable unit with a passion for Metal. Nightmare On Providence Street
will eternally remain standing as their magnum opus