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Blind Cross - Merciless Time

Blind Cross
Merciless Time
by Ross Donald at 04 August 2019, 9:01 PM

BLIND CROSS are a German power metal band and this is their first full release. This is the third project from vocalist Juan Ricardo as he is also known for his other two bands Sunless Sky and Wretch. For an idea of the band’s sound, they do mostly stick with that power metal vibe while also crossing back to a style that reminds me of classic Maiden. This is especially true with Juan as when he’s just singing normally his voice has a tinge of Myles Kennedy to it, whereas when he’s singing the high notes it definitely comes across more like vintage Bruce Dickinson.

The first song is “The Hammer and the Nails” and I’m sad to say that I was quite disappointed with it. It definitely has potential but it just feels like it’s missing a sense of urgency to really get me into the track. The instruments during the chorus are way too quiet with the vocals being put up way too loud for my liking and it just feels out of balance. Not a good start to proceedings but at least the guitar solos were awesome which are a continued highlight throughout the record with the production pretty much perfect on them.

“Bioluminosity” and “Blind Nation” are decent tracks even if the former does drone on a bit too long for my liking, which is an issue I have with quite a few of the songs presented. It’s here where I also start finding problems with the vocals as sometimes they work very well and sound excellent and at other times they just sound off and almost cringey. The first eight tracks on the album all just sound too similar to me with nothing really standing out and I find myself just drifting in and out of the album. Fifty minutes is much too long a runtime for this.

By the time we hit “Infrared” things do start to pick up with some awesome riffs and great drum with that urgency I mentioned earlier and thankfully it’s a much shorter song to make sure that it stays with after that initial first listen. It’s just a shame it had to hit so late in the album at the point where I’m close to giving up. This song really should have been the opening track. The next track “Martial Law” is another short hard hitter that ends up being another memorable track right after the last one.

This is almost like the tale of two albums as everything seems to have taken a u-turn since we heard “Infrared” as I swear that these last four tracks pretty much save the album so it’s almost like there were two different producers with different visions. Especially when you have “The Yetis Call” that ends up having the catchiest chorus on the album and some of the better production work.

Overall I was very disappointed with this album as even with after a few listens it’s very unmemorable outside of the last few surprisingly good tracks. The annoying part is that you can really feel the potential here with some great instrumental moments and some work on the vocals could go a long way. The album runtime was an absolute killer though as this should have been about half an hour max. An EP would have come across better.

Originality: 6
Songwriting: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Hammer and the Nail
2. Double-Crossed
3. Blind Nation
4. Her Invisible Friend
5. Rise or Fall
6. Bioluminosity
7. The Leviathan
8. Tear it Down
9. Infrared
10. Martial Law
11. The Yetis Call
12. Sledgehammer
Lineup:
Juan Ricardo - Vocals
Rocco Stellmacher - Guitars
Mathias Horold - Bass
Andy Korte - Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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