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Dehumaniser - Army of the Blind - 87%

Edmund Sackbauer, February 22nd, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Independent

Another great find on a YT channel specialized on classic metal are the Hamburg based rockers from Dehumaniser. Having been formed in 2017 it took three years to release their debut full length “Army of the Blind”. Consisting of ten songs and nearly 45 minutes of music this is a great package which should please a lot of old school metal fans. This album has been made by fans for fans of this genre, offering some really great hymns that would surely be a lot of fun to listen to on a sunny barbecue afternoon or while cruising across the city.

Most riffs have that classic NWOBHM feel, lending the music a very uplifting character. The main chords will sound familiar to any fan of traditional metal, but they are played with such passion and energy that missing innovation should not be a problem for potential listeners. Some of the hooks remind a bit of more hard rock oriented bands like Thin Lizzy or maybe Motörhead, while in some other sections the band does not shy away from implementing some hair metal harmonies. The rhythm section is doing a fine job in complementing the driving guitar lines, making the whole music perfectly tick while throwing in a little bit of firework whenever needed.

The songwriting is tight and on point and while there are some nice soloing parts it is clear that the most important factor for the band is to present stringent songs, perfectly suited for banging your head and raising a beer without coming across as being too simple. Such kind of music asks for straight forward song structures and harmonies that are easy to follow and enjoy, and Dehumaniser totally deliver on that front. In between all the frenetic riff attacks there are great hooks and some of the chorus parts are very memorable. Check out the title track and you will probably get what I am talking about.

There are two singers listed, one being Finn also playing bass and the other being Christoph, one of the two guitar players. The vocals are mainly done in pretty rough and mid-ranged fashion with kind of a growly feeling at times, not unsimilar to e.g. Peavy Wagner. This approach perfectly fits the overall picture of the band and the old school rock’n’roll attitude of Dehumaniser.

The production is fine and has enough grit and dirt to satisfy any fan of old school metal. The guitars sound powerful enough without being mixed too much into the forefront, and the drums have a natural feel. Overall the mix is pretty organic and a bit on the rawer side, so everybody moaning about nowadays modern production standards will probably love this approach. I personally could have done with just a bit more dynamism, but all in all “Army of the Blind” is a lot about the old school charm. Something similar can be said about the classic cover artwork, making this album a nice little gem worth getting in physical format. Well done!