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Snowblind - The Holy Metal Spirit

Snowblind
The Holy Metal Spirit
by Mike McMahan at 17 January 2021, 2:05 PM

Sleazy Rider Record’s inaugural release in 2001 was the first release of the Greek Dark Metal band SNOWBLIND, and the band has remained with the label since. Now, as of December 11th, 2020, we have their sixth studio release, “The Holy Metal Spirit”. The band runs the edge between straight up Black Metal, with aspects of Prog and Classic Metal intertwined, giving them an interesting musical mixture in their sound. They feature the growling Mike G of BLIND JUSTICE and NIGHTFALL on vocals and guitar, and Jim A, also of NIGHTFALL, on guitar.

Musically speaking, I have no issue with this band. They are as tight as anyone working today; and have a flash and fire in their delivery that is extremely welcome. The bottom end holds together nicely, allowing Mike G and Jim A plenty of room for riffs, fills, and solo fireworks. Unfortunately, Mike G’s vocal delivery is a horse of a different color; as he sounds, at times, like he has just gargled a can of thumbtacks and alcohol. I do understand there is a place in the darker works for a more brutal sounding vocal, but his particular vocal style just left me, and some of the songs, flat.

“The Misery In Our Souls” is a great example of what I am talking about here. Musically, the song soars, opening with a stout riff backed with some fierce percussion work from George K. Throughout, we are treated to some absolutely fantastic musicianship, across the board. I am uncertain of which guitarist is responsible for the solos on the cut, but they are very good; speedy, but most certainly extremely melodic and well placed. The vocal in no way matches the remainder of the recording. The cover song “Burning Eyes” is another example of the same problem.

“Load Your Guns” and “Lord Of My Fate”, the two bonus tracks that close out the album, offer no solace. Both were recorded at Kyttaro Rock Bar, and both suffer from the same symptoms as the studio cuts. I am a fan of MOTORHEAD, SHADOWS FALL and OPETH, so I can certainly grasp the concept of a growling vocal. I want very much to like this band, and this release, but I can’t say that I do. I would like to hear these guys with a different frontman on board, and Mike G serving as a guitarist only. I feel the difference could be extraordinary.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Master Of My Life
2. The Misery Is In Our Souls
3. Valley Of The Dead
4. Dreamer Alone
5. Burning Eyes
6. The God We Know
7. Metal Soldiers
8. No One To Believe
9. The Bitterness Inside
10. A Spirit Free
11. Load Your Guns (Bonus Track, Live At Kyttaro)
12. Lord Of My Fate (Bonus Track, Live At Kyttaro)
Lineup:
Mike G. - Guitars, Vocals
Jim A. - Guitars
George A. - Bass
George K. - Drums
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records
     


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