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Blissful Stream - When the Wolves Start to Circle Award winner

Blissful Stream
When the Wolves Start to Circle
by Neil Cook at 06 April 2020, 7:19 PM

There is very little I can tell you about BLISSFUL STREAM, except it is the work of one lone wolf, Martin Sällström. The project started in 2016, and after releasing a number of Eps, this latest release is a full album of the heaviest Metal one man can produce. Other than coming from Stockholm, Sweden, I can add very little to this enigmatic performer, and I cannot help but feel that is totally deliberate.

The sound is rooted in the Death and Doom Metal, but the sound transcends these limited confines, making the songs accessible to a wider Metal audience. Don’t get me wrong about this, it doesn’t get happy at any time, but at the moment this suits the world it has been unleashed on. “We See The Light”, has a old school MOTORHEAD vibe, full of punk attitude and rock and roll. Whereas “When The Wolves Circle”, which opens with an amazing riff, and has an impressive guitar solo at its heart, is very metal, powering along on wave of bass and drums.

Sow The Seeds Of Discontent”, we are in a Doom-laden vibe, with an underlying Goth feel to the song.  “Covenant Of Decay” drives on in a similar fashion, all be it in in a lower gear. The guitar sound is almost “jangley”, but the song is driven by the pounding relentless rhythm, and nihilistic vocals.  It is also the longest song on the album, which give it an almost cinematic feel. Whereas “Once Alive”, the more straight ahead, pounding drumbeat, give the neck muscles a work-out, as it is hard to not nod vigorously along with the beat.

Breaks on! “Old Wounds”, has full-on Doom chug.  Mournful and melancholic, and moves along at the pace of slowly setting concrete, and ends up twice as hard. “War Of The Righteous” is a good companion for “Old Wounds”.  It isn’t a chugger like the previous song, but fast it ain’t.  This is what GHOST, with all their religious and daemonic imagery should sound like.  Again the unique guitar sound is quite outstanding.

One thing I like about this album is the sound and pacing, it isn’t all bang, bang, bang, it doesn’t just creep along, there are differences.  The final song “City Of Dead Souls” for example has different feel again.  In an odd way it reminded me of SISTERS OF MERCY, trying to sound like BLUE OYSTER CULT, not immediate bedfellows I know, but it is what this short sharp song triggered in my synapses on repeated listening.

I am not sure if this is really music designed to be liked, but it was.  The fact one man made all this sound boggles the mind makes it incredibly impressive.  OK the vocals at times sounded at their limits, but it suited the musical style, and the playing was faultless and the skill required to pull this together and to sound like the most accomplished 4-piece band, well I take off my hat to Martin Sällström again.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1.We See The light
2. When The Wolves Start To Circle
3. Sow The Seeds Of Discontent
4. Covenant Of Decay
5. Once Alive
6. Old Wounds
7. War Of The Righteous
8. City Of Dead Souls
Martin Sällström (Eqimantorn) – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums
Record Label: Medusa Crush Recordings


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Edited 29 November 2022

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