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Blockheads - This World Is Dead

Blockheads
This World Is Dead
by Dorothy Cheng at 04 April 2013, 10:40 AM

Bands with Grindcore influences tend to have a reputation that is frowned upon by high-and-mighty self-proclaimed music critics, who spew excuses that the music is all too similar, incomprehensible, and messy. Such critics, who enjoy primarily The Smiths and Talking Heads albums, come from a background of musical knowledge that stems from systematic lyrical theory and market trends. And while such a background is in no way “wrong”, it gives unique bands that strive on being different and having shock value such as BLOCKHEADS, a Death Metal / Grindcore band, the short end of the stick. With their new release “This World is Dead”, BLOCKHEADS has once again made the metal world proud by defying what the above critics “know” about music. With their new album, BLACKHEADS have proven that music is not just an audio experience, it is meant to inflict all kind of sensations. Music is after all, an art form, and art touches all physical aspects of humanity, resulting in catharsis: art’s main function.

BLOCKHEADS have done just that with their new album. All of their raw energy, seeming to stem from political anger, is exploited and magnified in their 25-song album. Each song is around a minute, some barely, but the effect is massive. This is an incredibly smart move because if the songs were four minutes, and if there were maybe ten of them, the album would just be another Death Metal / Grindcore record. Instead, BLOCKHEADS have managed to make their album a “Metal experience.”

What is a “Metal experience”, you ask? It’s when an album’s effect is so good, that it doesn’t matter what genre it is anymore. It is listenable, masterful, sheer, pure metal that serves a purpose. It’s not just a record serving as a follow-up. It is not just another album to add to a band’s discography. It is not a milestone for a particular genre. It is performance art, because what the audience gets out of the product later is more of a cathartic, artful experience than just a normal post-listening high. In that sense, it is a true work of art. The band achieves this effect by packing each compact track with brutality, breakdowns, insane drums, and energy. The flow from track to track is perfect, and the listener never gets worn out because of the band’s ingenious move to make each song short and to the point. The drumming is really creative, making this album one of the rare cases where the standout instrument is the drums. However, vocalist Xav was a close contender with drummer Nico for that award. Fred has a thick, full voice but he doesn’t let that hold his range down. He is like Max Cavalera but with more control and range, making him a true force in the album.

The guitars do their part in holding each song up with killer speed, although there are no solos, which is understandable, seeing as each song barely has time to make for verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formatting, which is actually a breath of fresh air. There isn’t any real structure to the songs. They begin and end the same way: with brutality to boot. There is nothing predictable about the album, and the band excels in the department of making sure their audience never gets bored. I devoured all 25 tracks. All in all, this is a masterful album, in the way that it is played, produced, and thought out. It really is a diamond in the ruff, when bands these days so often forget the art of music and remember instead the art of marketing. BLOCKHEAD’S effort to make art out of Grindcore is not only commendable, it’s truly respectable. 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Deindividualized
2. Already Slaves
3. Born Among Bastards
4. Final Arise
5. Bastards
6. Awaken
7. This World Is Dead
8. Hidden Terrors
9. All These Dreams
10. Media Warfare
11. Be a Thorn to Power
12. Human Oil
13. Poisoned Yields
14. To the Dogs
15. Buenos Aires S.C.
16. Crisis Is Killing the Weak
17. Famine
18. Sell Your Flesh
19. Look Down
20. Take Your Pills
21. Digging Graves
22. Pro-Lifers
23. Follow the Bombs
24. Doctrine of Assured Mutual Destruction
25. Trail of the Dead
Lineup:
Xav – Vocals
Erik – Bass, Vocals
Nico – Drums, Vocals
Fred – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Relapse Records
     


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