Blanket
Modern Escapism


4.5
superb

Review

by shemson USER (7 Reviews)
December 10th, 2021 | 21 replies


Release Date: 09/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Comfort In Sound

So aside from sounding lovely and warm what have we got here then? We’ve got a four piece Blackpool based band who have made possibly the biggest leap from debut to second album I’ve ever seen. In 2018 Blanket released a very nice post rock album called How To Let Go. It was tight, evocative, well produced and gave some ‘feels’ but for me, almost entirely instrumental music doesn’t quite hit the spot. What they’ve done since is add a vast array of different tones, including a more metallic crunch, and I don’t know if it was a direction switch or the vocalist became more confident but they’ve now moved from almost entirely instrumental to being vocal driven at times!

So now we have a post rock band, with metal elements and vocals added. What do they sound like then? If I was to tell you they did a low-key cover of Knife Prty by Deftones in between albums you’ll probably all roll your eyes and think another in the growing list of Defclones - but don’t because you’d be wrong! Yes there are shoegazey bits and post rock bits and metally bits but aside from one song I’ll come back to later and a few moments, these guys do not sound like Chino and the boys.

What I hear from Blanket is a band who were very effective post rockers and then listened to a bucket load of Katatonia in between albums. The vocals (aside from two guest spots) are all clean and almost all calm, yet gripping. I’m not going to lie, I heard this album before the debut and it was my opinion that the band name Blanket fit them so well because of the vocals. Whilst there are moments of harsh dissonance and heavy riffs, the vocals are a constant blanket calmly cuddling everything together and keeping you warm. That’s how this album feels to me, it’s fresh, it’s warm, it takes elements of other bands, mostly Katatonia and some other followers of Deftones but it still sounds unique to me.

This album is incredibly easy to dip into, there are really no bad tracks, but the intro punch of White Noise is a good place to start, wasting no time in introducing their new metallic crunch. The opener is then followed up by probably the heaviest track on the album, Romance, which has the first of two outside vocalists from a chap called Gost who adds some black metal shrieks to the equation and succeeds in making things feel a bit heavier all round. The album continues to twist in out of metal and post rock very effectively for a few more tracks, though the transitions never feel forced, before arriving at the other guest vocal spot (and the reason I heard about this album) Kadeem from Loathe. I felt it was important to mention the transitions between heavy and spacey are well balanced because a number of bands including Loathe have gotten a bit of flack for being a bit choppy with their transitions. Blanket are at no time switching styles for the sake of it though and gift us with properly crafted songs throughout, which is why I feel more of a Katatonia connection than most modern metal-gaze type acts.

Anyway, anyone who’s heard anything from me knows I love Loathe and In Awe is another stellar track, enhanced by Kadeem’s harsh vocals. It’s followed up by a questionable highlight in Where The Light Takes Us. This is the track I said we’d come back to and that should explain why I’m saying ‘questionable’. This song is beautiful, the vocal performance is the best on the album too, but it sounds so much like a Deftones song I had to check what I was listening to. I can forgive songs sounding a bit like your idols and I love Deftones too so I get it but please guys, when you are a bit close to your influences please don’t have a chorus about how if we grew wings we could fly and then go ah-ah-ah after it in almost the exact way Chino does in House of Flies…
The thing is though, I’ve gone in pretty hard there, BUT it is also a really good song and probably my favourite on the album!

A few more songs follow in a similar vein where when they do sound a bit Deftone-y it’s the sinister chilled, bass rumbling, guitar picking ‘tones which is a real treat to hear to be honest as they do it really well. The album finishes with probably my one annoyance, a really nice post-rock track that builds up and then just ends right where it could’ve exploded but there it is, an anti-climactic finish to an album filled with peaks and troughs. What the anti-climax does do though is make me hit play again so maybe that was the intention, to keep this album a cyclical experience?

So there you have it - a guy you’ve never met telling you to listen to a band you’ve never heard of! If you’re a fan of Katatonia, sinister passages of Deftones and similar though - do it! You won’t regret it.



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user ratings (33)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shemson
December 10th 2021


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album, it grew on me every day over the last six weeks or so since I’ve been adding to this review.

I originally put it as a 4 but it’s a 4.5 now after about 25 listens, especially listens on night time drives.

bloc
December 10th 2021


67669 Comments


Good to see this get some attention. Album is real good, hope this alt metal sound gets more trendy next year, I could always use some more

Digging: Num Skull - Ritually Abused

Shemson
December 10th 2021


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed bloc, this kind of thing hits all the right spots for me, would love more

Prancer
December 10th 2021


1350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice to see this get a review, album landed on my AOTY list. Band has a lot of potential.

Shemson
December 11th 2021


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is definitely in my top 10 this year too - trying to spread the good word and get more people to listen as I think a lot on here would dig it

Calc
December 11th 2021


16822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"What I hear from Blanket is a band who were very effective post rockers and then listened to a bucket load of Katatonia in between albums."



maybe you've heard of Loathe? the lead singer is actually featured on a song here. good job spreading the good word though

Shemson
December 12th 2021


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I see you stopped reading the review pretty early on Calc 🤣

I name checked Kadeem and even listed them in the ‘recommended by reviewer’ section.

I gave ILIIAITE my album of the year, did the review on this site for The Cold Sun and I’m even going to see them in London on Saturday.

For what it’s worth though, I don’t think Blanket sound much like Loathe overall in that they’re far less hectic and aren’t choppy between transitions and write more standard form songs but I love both

Purpl3Spartan
December 13th 2021


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yoooo glad that this got a review! This needed one

Digging: Geese - Projector

Purpl3Spartan
January 8th 2022


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is so good

Nomos2
January 10th 2022


953 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

interesting, I've never heard of these guys until Spotify played them automatically after a Loathe playlist. The tone of the guitars was so dead-on I thought I was listening to more Loathe.



I'll be honest: this has all been done before, from what I've heard. Yet it seems to be done tastefully enough and pleasantly enough that I don't mind too much. I suspect this will have to grow into a regular band for me, but Where the Light Takes Us and In Awe are reaaaaly nice.



Edit: OK I did the proper thing and listened to more. Romance is awesome. I really dig the vocals. Self-harmonizing vox that glide by in calm melodies REALLY does it for me, and I hear a lot of that here.



Edit Edit: "The Last Dayss[...]". Wow. These vocals. I am in love with this crushing heavy tone and the ethereal vocals. oooh boy.



Edit Edit Edit: "Firmament"! I am evolving past my first impression. This is really pretty and cathartic stuff and not as much of a Loatheclone/Defclone as I initially assumed.

Purpl3Spartan
January 18th 2022


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is so good (2)

bloc
January 18th 2022


67669 Comments


Nice bump, about time I give this another listen

Shemson
January 18th 2022


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol Nomos the way your opinion is evolving you’ll have this 5’d in no time

Nomos2
January 20th 2022


953 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

really can't stop playing it, I love the whole thing so much

Purpl3Spartan
January 20th 2022


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I give it three days on the nomos 5

Shemson
January 20th 2022


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It’s really addictive, I reckon I listened to it 30 odd times over a month or so and I got to the point where I forced myself to stop for a bit so I didn’t overplay it

Nomos2
January 21st 2022


953 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

baby that's a 5

Nomos2
January 21st 2022


953 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dude same I have to force myself to find something else to listen to as a palate cleanser. It's constantly stuck in my head.

Purpl3Spartan
January 22nd 2022


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Lmao

Shemson
January 22nd 2022


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Played this again yesterday and shit it might be a five you know, kinda flies in the face of my review to upgrade it to a classic though when there are a few refinements that could be made



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