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Blinded by Awesome - 97%

psychoticnicholai, May 31st, 2013

Blind is in many ways the Corrosion Of Conformity album that showcased their full on transition from punk to metal. It also serves as an interesting, thrashy missing link between the crossover thrash of Animosity and the Technocracy EP; and the sludgy stoner/groove metal of Deliverance and Wiseblood and beyond. It works extremely well, combining the core elements of thrash, doom, punk, and groove metal into a diverse, yet consistent record.

The core instrumentation and writing of the album is done with the utmost skill and ability. Woody Weatherman makes tight usage of distortion and riffage to push the guitar's sounds of sludginess, agility, catchiness, and gloom to new heights. The bass is certainly audible and easy to hear. It compliments the guitar work nicely and even has a few moments where it stands out among the instruments. Reed Mullin's drumming consists of a diverse and flavorful array of thrash drumming, grooves, and breaks across the songs, giving them a critical part of their sound to set apart the slow sludge tracks, the mid-paced groovers, and the fast thrash songs. Now, Karl Agell's voice certainly isn't as good as Pepper Keenan's since he lacks the range, depth, and machismo that Keenan has in spades. He sounds like a throwaway thrash metal vocalist. Though the songs are written well enough and he himself has a few golden moments so it somewhat makes up for that. All in all the instrumentation and performance is done extremely well, even Agell.

The album starts out with the anthemic instrumental These Shrouded Temples... which harkens back to and emulates to the song Black Sabbath with it's ominous downtuning, use of the Devil's tritone, and grave atmosphere. Dance Of The Dead is a great thrasher that kicks the album off and works as a great standout song. Buried has a sliding, muddy groove to it and is fun to listen to. Ditto for Break the Circle and Painted Smiling Faces. Mine Are The Eyes Of God is the only stinker on this album due to the annoying chorus. Shallow Ground is an awesome, mellow tune that is warm and relaxing, ending with an alarming tape rewinding sound that leads into the big scarer on this album, Vote With A Bullet. Pepper Keenan's vocals exceed Agell's here and provide the threatening voice to compliment the militant message and destructive guitar work. Groover Great Purification and thrasher White Noise build off of Vote With A Bullet's momentum and political vitriol and compliment the song perfectly with societal lyrics and a mixture of gloomy and punchy riffs. The final full song, Echoes In The Well is a gloomy, bleak track that shows off the doomy desperation of the album extremely well and clears the album for the finisher from These Shrouded Temples..., Remain... which ends the album on a gloomy and skillful note.

The bonus tracks are also worth something if you get the rerelease. Condition A/Condition B is a transition from the main album to the bonus tracks. The MC5 cover Future Now is a good enough listen though not as standout as the main album. And Jim Bean And The Coon Ass is clearly not metal, but still a foot-tapping blues wailer that's not even racist like you'd think it would be and plenty of fun.

The songs have stuck with me for quite a long time. The writing is brilliant for both the lyrics and instruments. The songs have crunch, catch, grime, and tact as qualities. It has consistency and diversity rolled up into one, big , delicious, metal burrito that works perfectly and is just so damn tasty. It's a molotov cocktail of styles ready to take on the system and fight authority. It's amazing just how Corrosion can ignore genre rules and put out a high quality Record such as this. It's the first metal CD I bought of my own volition and has remained a favorite of mine since.