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Blind Stare - Symphony Of Delusions - 2005 - Arise Records

Track Listing
1. Central Theory
2. My Black Letter
3. Ender
4. An Insane's Diary Pt. II
5. The Silent Song
6. All For The Unspoken
7. Shotgun Symphony
8. Words Of Truth
9. Thornhearts
Arise Records seems to be taking a lot more in their plates these days, this time around straying from the power-progressive mold to bring in a new and exciting Finnish band called Blind Stare. Following much in the same way as fellow roster mates Skyfire, these young musicians combine on a melodic death metal approach that recalls the finest moments of Children Of Bodom and In Flames. While so many bands in today's modern "new wave" search for that Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying sound, Blind Stare really continue on the more traditional pace, flavoring their formula with plenty of power metal virtuoso and well timed melody, but for the most part still keeping a colder, more harsh delivery. The band doesn't really rely on heavy, stomp grooves, instead just simply flowing through the material with the greatest of ease, at times really surprising me with a "veteran" sound considering this is their first full release.

"Symphony Of Delusions" is the debut from Blind Stare, a band that formed in 1999 as a melodic metal band. After adding in a keyboardist the band's output slowly evolved into melodeath. After releasing several demos the group achieved a contract through Arise Records, a label known for their work with Dark Moor, Vhaldemar, Dream Maker, and Skyfire. Now Blind Stare have the perfect home, a place to work their magic and bring to life all of their creative visions. The band hit Noisecamp Studios to record this effort, and with glorious packaging courtesy of Jan Yrlund from Danse Macabre, Blind Stare have one of the better melodic death metal releases of the year.

This band seems to have really cut their teeth on the early to mid-90s style, capturing that Gothenburg sound right around early era In Flames. From the faster, more lightspeed approach at melody and aggression comes a more slowed pace as well, at times mixing clean vocals with harsh overtones. Musically speaking Blind Stare can run the same race as Night In Gales, In Flames, and Skyfire, with the keyboard effect running the same patterns as Throne Of Chaos and the mighty Children Of Bodom. That is really where this band's style lies, those extraordinary fast cuts that just blaze with scorching melody and that cold, somewhat modern songwriting approach.

For the most part vocalist Eino Tuominen keeps a black metal screech to his lines, never completely staying in that fashion but still mixing in the occasional clean passages and an occasional death metal rumble. My favorite material from the band seems to be when the group focus high-octane energy with the slower, more clean passages. Opener "Central Theory" follows that formula, creating a huge, chaotic storm but still focusing all energy into a memorable chorus part. The same can be said for "The Silent Song", a groovy number that uses clean vocals as a way of drifting in more melody. Guitarists Anders Ostrom and Jaakko Lehtinen use plenty of different stylings here, combining on furious new wave romps while still keeping an extreme feel to it all. As if their isn't enough melody booming from those two, keyboardist Zacharias Aarnio adds in plenty of fresh feel with his amazing keyboard work. The keys never get heavy handed though, just simply there to add in the extra memorable element. Other strong cuts is the electric "My Black Letter" and quick paced "Shotgun Symphony".



--EC 06.03.05
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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Symphony Of DelusionsBlind Stare
2005
Eric Compton6/27/2005


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