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Blasted Heath - Vela

Blasted Heath
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 28 September 2022, 12:43 PM

To work in some Metal trenches demands of the fans a wide comprehension of the history of the genre, because one can fall on traps and turn the shoulders to album and other releases that can be better tasted when the reasons behind it can be supposed, and the supposes only can be done by knowledge. It’s not a matter of hearing a release and to create a distorted idea, but to be able to understand why things are in this way, as happened with SODOM’s “In the Sign of Evil” and “Obsessed by Cruelty”. And this is the case of the North American quartet BLASTED HEATH and their first offering, “Vela”.

It’s a form of Thrash/Black Metal the resembles the primordial approach used by acts as SLAYER, SODOM, KREATOR on their early works (the ones were they had poor resources to pay for a better production), but as the band uses some scientific ideas on its lyrics that improves some experimental approach on the instrumental parts (pay attention to some guitars’ arrangements simulating the statics of far communications by radio), but plenty of Hardcore catchy influences as well. Their musical work can be compared to a mix between DARKTHRONE, SODOM and other acts on their prime, on their filthy and brutal days, and it’s very good. The point that demands patience of the fans: the sonority. The intention is clear: to have a filthy and organic approach (the band recorded the album on a basement, what reminds what BATHORY did on the past), with the final mixing of Billy DeRocker (the early mix was done by Alex Kercheval), and the mastering was done by Dan ‘the Metal Master’ Swanö, what saves a lot the comprehension of the fans. Obviously it could be better (there are other ways to make this idea come true, and with better results), but for a band with such musical work, it’s not a total waste. It’s good.

On the songs, one must pay the quartet some respect: they do a very good work, personal and full of energy, as stated by songs as “Big Chill” (after the intro, one must pay attention to some tempos similar to USA Thrash Metal trench, but with the nasty approach of early German trench, and the work of the guitars is really very good), “Ape” (this one bears some melancholic arrangements in the middle of the Thrash Metal/Metal Punk elements and contrasts, with a very good rhythmic support given by bass guitar and drums), “Europa” (very good slow approach, with snarls and howls of the vocals), “Neutron Star” (another slow song with some excellent darkened and melancholic melodies on the guitars, and what catchy passages), and “Strange Matter”. These are the right ones of a first travel in the dark of black holes and oppressive pressure of neutron stars and nebulas offered by the quartet.

Of course a better sonority in the next release will be welcome, but “Vela” is an offering that shows that the fans can expect great things of BLASTED HEAT for sure.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Big Chill
2. Ape
3. Europa
4. Dark Energy
5. Neutron Star
6. The Wind in Vela
7. Strange Matter
Kyle Shumaker - Guitars, Vocals
Billy DeRocker - Guitars
Joe Clark - Bass
Conrad Cotterman - Drums
Record Label: Wise Blood Records


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