It seems extreme metal has saved its very best releases for the dying weeks of the year, the likes of Nidingr, Deus Otiosus, and Aeons each releasing colossal albums which are pushing limits, imagination, and most of all passions to immense heights. Adding their own titanic and inventive weight to the list if Cyprus metallers Blynd with their deeply impressive album Punishment Unfolds. Released though Pitch Black Records, the album is a fury of death, groove, and thrash metal which incites a riot in the heart and unbridled rapture in the senses and vice versa.
Formed in 2003, the Nicosia based quartet of bassist and vocalist Andreas, guitarists Dino and George, and drummer Alex, has slowly but firmly gathered a strong and ardent fanbase within a growing wash of acclaim through their impressive sound across firstly their duo of EPs and 2010 debut album The Enemy, as well as live performances alongside the likes of Sodom, Children Of Bodom, Rotting Christ, Sepultura, and Septic Flesh and a triumphant appearance at the 2012 Bloodstock Festival. Punishment Unfolds steps forward with all the aural armoury, sharp imagination, and aggressive intent to thrust Blynd to the top tier of extreme noise makers and bring a wider and hungrier recognition their way. Featuring guest appearances from Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and George Charalambous (Winter’s Verge), the album also sets up the full spark of anticipation for their part in the Creatures From the Black Abyss Tour 2012, alongside Cradle Of Filth, God Seed and Rotting Christ, starting November 27th.
The opening instrumental Divine Gathering gives no real warning of the storm to follow though the brewing symphonic grace and thrilling rise of intensity does offer an epic atmospheric feel and climactic confrontation as its grand arms expand to wrap firmly around the ear. It soon makes way for the rampaging Arrival of the Gods with its gnawing riffs and caustic breath of squalling vocals and scarring sonics. The harsh rub fires up the senses as fully as the greedy urgency of the song leaves them breathless, whilst the impressive melodic scorching from the guitars is a feisty encounter which pushes the song to greater heights.
The immense start is left ‘floundering’ in the wake of As Punishment Unfolds, a track which steals top honours and takes the contagion of the album to its highest pinnacle. From a start of thumping incendiary drums against the serpentine vocal lesions, the song spawns a groove which incites the strongest infection and a brawling seduction of riffs and beats to ignite primal passion. The mesmeric swarming which overwhelms the ear is delicious whilst the interchanging intensity and energies just provoke insatiable lust for more. As with the previous song the guitars produce melodic flames to stretch the track excellently around the crushing framework of antagonistic rhythms and raptorial vocals.
Following tracks such as Never for the Fallen with its carnivorous riffs and sonic greed, the challenging and glorious The Chosen Few, and Convicted in the Devil’s Land, further the pleasure with stunning enterprise and power. The second of the three is a turbulent journey of abrasive invention and unpredictable breaks wrapped in magnetic melodic ingenuity and heart. It is a masterful soundscape which can only lead to a full and potent devotion to its explosive imagination. The last of the trio is an intimidating predator with impacting sinews and a rabid intensity to leave one cowering whilst loving every second of its muscular threat.
Right through to its end Punishment Unfolds is sensational, from the outstanding Sins to the Cross with a progressive groove as wanton as it is insidious, across the snarling yet heated and irresistible presences of The Final Resistance and Divine Conspiracy, through to the closing feast of invention that is Infinity Race, it transfixes, erodes, and thrills senses, thoughts, and heart with accomplished and inventive ease.
Blynd before Punishment Unfolds may have been an unknown underground force for a great many but with its release and impressive content, the amazing album is set to change that stature one suspects and hopes. It would be a deserved outcome for a greatly pleasing and stirring gift from the band.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright