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Pardon me for the stupid pun, but that is exactly where Gory Blister is reaching in this album. I first listened to the band in Art Bleeds, and after the initial shock with something so different and creative it grew on me as one of those few bands out of a sea in a given genre that actually manages to create something almost entirely new. In Skymorphosis a noticeable decay in that originality appears, but the band still has an original core. This now is when shit hits the fan.
Though this album overcomes the first greatly in terms of production value, it is in that only. The musicians' technique is still very good, as one can notice in the complex drumming and riffs. But it is completely bland. The insane riffs, the otherworldly tempo changes, unimaginable compasses: they're all gone. It is just a generic technical death metal band like thousands of others that there are nowadays.
I mean, it's not hard to compare. Check their first album's Anticlimax music video on youtube, or try and look for a streamable Snowfall. Compare it to this album's title track and see the difference: the most "bizarre" (if you can call it that) you'll find are some abrupt riff and drum changing. Don't get me wrong: it is a good album by a band of great musicians. But it lacks the most important thing Gory Blister had before: originality.
I still haven't heard their following album, but honestly, by the way their work has been going in these last two albuns, it's definitely not on the top of my list.
Ignore the name, Gory Blister is a technical death metal band from Italy that formed in 1991, they have released a few full lengths in their time as a band and this is their latest. Italian is slowly becoming a force in the heavy metal world, and this band is a good example of why.
Gory Blister definitely holds their own in the realm of tech death and manage to restrain themselves from just all out whanking like some other technical bands that will not be named for the sake of the review, with that being said the music on the album is technical enough to prove that these guys have some serious skills with their instruments.
The album expresses the perfect balance between brutality and melody, both are very present throughout the album. Some of the riffs on the album are more memorable than others, the tracks "Void Made Flesh" and "Vanishing Ruins" have very catchy riffs throughout. That's one of the things that Gory Blister manage to do this record, write very technically impressive songs that actually hold some melodic quality which many other bands in the genre in the past have shown that this is clearly difficult to do.
During the course of "Graveyard of Angels" the drummer completely pummels his kit. The drumming is done with intensity that certainly shows he holds a great deal of talent, but the main focus for Gory Blister is without a doubt the guitarwork. The band previously had a more progressive sound that isn't as big of an influence on this album but it is clearly still an element in the music.
As mentioned earlier "Graveyard of Angels" is a fairly melodic record. The vocalist is the weakest link in the group, but all in all he is still above average and has a decent range, from soaring highs to death valley lows and overall he does a good job, nothing more, nothing less. His voice does mesh well with the music and keeping in mind that this is technical music the focus isn't mainly on him throughout anyhow.
When Gory Blister takes the time to emphasize their melodic side the outcome is beautiful, these moments form some of the best guitar leads that come to mind in recent years. The solos melt face without a doubt, in this bands case though it might have been a better choice to go with a more melodic, emotional style of soloing. Fans of technical death metal should be pleased with this release and the thick, brutal riffs should be enough to tide over fans of brutal death while the floaty, slick leads subliminally caress the ears of the listener. This album may be a bit of a grower for some. The technicality can't truly be enjoyed fully first listen and the more you listen the more you'll notice that the chaos blasting through your speakers is actually controlled and actually well thought out.
So overall "Graveyard of Angels" gets a solid 4 out of 5. The album has great replay value if you let it grow. They aren't reinventing music, but they are doing something that isn't done often and playing very enjoyable technical death. With this album Gory Blister found their own sound rather than latching on to their influences and overall this stepped worked out well for the band. If the next release focuses more on the strengths Gory Blister might just earn themselves a classic rating, they certainly show the potential. Highly recommended. Considering the had a seven year gap between their previous full lengths let's just hope they take their time making the next one, it's quality not quantity.
This Italian band's previous album Skymorphosis was quite the surprise, an album of progressive death heavily influenced by the later Death discograpy. The follow-up Graveyard of Angels (their 3rd full-length) drifts further into the band's own territory, a careful balance of melody and brutality. Despite a better production, the riffs here didn't catch me quite as much as those on Skymorphosis, yet the album is still recommendable if you like your death/thrash melodic with brutal vocals.
"The Hatch Opens" is spearheaded by its use of glistening mid-paced chords, evoking a transcendental, almost cosmic vibe before the track opens up into vicious sledgehammer death. The band busts out some of their prog metal essence within the lead, but the track actually reminded me of mid-period Cryptopsy over all. "Void Made Flesh" is a pure rager with some acrobatic groove and a pretty melodic breakdown involving shred. After this, the album actually picks up for a few superior tracks. "Vanishing Ruins" is a nice piece of progressive death with captivating riffs and atmosphere. "The Descent" is tech death fused into thrashing rhythms. The instrumental "emiT despalE" is immersive and powerful. Another of the stronger tracks on the album is "The Shining Hades" for some ripping riffs.
Graveyard of Angels is mixed with a clarity that can balance the melodic grace of the band's leadwork and riffing with the bludgeoning brutal shell enveloping it. This is primarily a guitar band, most of the head-spinning you'll get is through the leads. Otherwise they don't indulge in the stark technicality of some tech death acts. Gory Blister are very much in the habit of writing songs, not exercises in musical virtuosity. This particular album reminded me a little of the recent debut from Centaurus-A of Germany, who have a similar (but better) approach. Although this is a focused effort, I was marginally underwhelmed by a number of the tracks. But it's likely that other fans of technical death metal with high standards are going to lap this right up.