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Blinded By Faith's Best Record - 90%

DeviousDarren, December 15th, 2007

Blinded By Faith’s third full-length album, “Weapons Of Mass Distraction,” is its first concept record. The set delves deep into the post-9-11 world, questioning who masterminded the United States' greatest atrocity. The group asks listeners to shed the illusion propagated by the media and the government, and ponder how much control we really have over our lives. A verse from the album’s title track exemplifies the main concept: “Don’t misunderstand our critic of the conflict/We stand for nuance, doubt and judgment, our point of view/There’s no good or evil in such a war/No one-way terrorism, no heroic excuse for murder.”

Musically, Blinded By Faith keeps maturing. These Canadians maintain the symphonic black metal foundation first presented on debut album “Veiled Hideousness,” while introducing many more influences like melodic death metal. “Consortium Y2K,” “Finger On The Trigger” and the Fear Factory-styled “Barcode Blindfold” are a buffet of chugging guitars. During those moments, the timing of the rhythm section (bassist Vincent Roy and drummer Julien Marcotte) is precise, never playing below or beyond their bandmates, even during the hyper-fast changes.

No other aspect of the album exemplifies the group’s growth as Tommy Demers' vocals. He adds even more personalities to the mix of his Dani Filth screeches and processed death growls. In Agalloch fashion, Demers shifts from black metal screams to clean crooning. Much to the dismay of their fans, harsh vocalists often dabble in clean vocals with little success, but that's not the case here. Demers sounds as if he has always been singing in this style. The title track and “An Ordinary Day (In North America)” feature vocal melodies that will stick to your brain like napalm.

The keyboards continue on the fantasy-based path of the group's last full-length, “Under An Occult Sun,” recalling Bal-Sagoth and Dimmu Borgir, but show the band experimenting with new ideas. Take “Elite Insight” for example; this track begins with futuristic-sounding keyboards that bear a striking resemblance to Samael’s later, non-black metal efforts. It is strange to hear such a mind-opening atmosphere on a political album, but it works. Echoing the group’s theme, there is even a hint of Middle Eastern influence found on “Barcode Blindfold” and the aforementioned “An Ordinary Day."

The war in Iraq is undoubtedly America's most unpopular war since Vietnam and a touchy subject around the globe. Blinded By Faith presents an even uglier facet of the conflict by contemplating if the U.S. government orchestrated 9-11, a theory that celebrities and the common man alike have debated more than the mainstream media. Whether you agree or disagree with the band’s views, it's hard to dispute that “Weapons Of Mass Distraction” is an album of superb musicianship.

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