There is one problem I have with punk/crust/D-beat. It encourages me to fuck shit up. When done right, the music tempts me into driving 100 mph to work, marching into my boss’s office and beating the living shit out of him. While I obviously have some serious psychological issues here (particularly being that I am indeed my own boss), music like this sets my skin on fire and the only cure for this uncomfortable burning sensation is revolution, overthrow and apocalyptic destruction. Now that I have that out of my system, it’s time to apologize to myself and move on with the review for the self-titled debut album from Norway’s Blindfisted.
Blindfisted’s sound can be described simply as early-career Celtic Frost and Venom mixed with latter-day Darkthrone, with hints of classic Motörhead groove. They even utilize a similar heaviness, proving that these fellows don’t need to compensate by cranking up the distortion. That old-fashioned feel of aggression toward corporate goons and societal trends shines through just fine on Blindfisted and it’s kept fresh song-to-song by incorporating guest vocalists on seven of its ten tracks. Mostly staying local, Blindfisted recruited everyone from Aura Noir’s Aggressor to the vocalists of the short-lived Norwegian punk outfit, Hærverk, and the all-girl garage rock band, The Launderettes. This adds for some diversity and keeps the album from getting stale.
Opener “Roadkill” pretty much sums up the core elements of Blindfisted; crusty guitars, punk-infused riffage, popping bass, pissed-off vox, and a quick-and-dirty 1:25 runtime. While not all tracks are this short, few exceed three minutes (the exception being the five+ minute closer, “Consensus”). Other songs in the one-ish minute range include the infectious Motörhead-meets-Darkthrone “Idolize Me!” (with vocal duties handled by guitarist, Mr. Fister) and the thrashy Toxic Holocaust-esque “In Return.” Include “Vote for Lunch” with this bunch (which could be the theme song for all corporate employees) and Blindfisted comes out hitting hard and fast.
And what’s a punky record without some gang shouts? Well, there are plenty of those here as Mr. Fister and Sturt (bass) assist their guests with some back-stage chorus shouting. While the choruses aren’t overly complex, there’s just something blood-pumping about repeating lines like “roadkill,” “idolize me,” and “the abyss awaits” belted out with such intensity that it makes you want to trade punches to the face with your best friend. Beyond the standard punk/crust vocal elements, there are odd little treats like the weird, Sigh-like backing vocals toward the end of “A River Where Everyone Shits” (my vote for best song title of 2014) and the awesome male/female duet of “Gå Vekk.” Being mostly dominated by angry vox from Joddski (Tungtvann), “Gå Vekk” fights back with some powerful female vocals in the absurdly catchy chorus (provided by Ingvild from The Launderettes). As Ingvild takes control and dominates the chorus, Joddski tries to assert his anger by yelling into her clean arrangements. The result is odd on the first listen but becomes one of the highlights of the album.
No surprises here when it comes to the production. The guitars are nasty and the drums are barbaric. Thankfully, the bass is mixed well and even becomes the lead component in songs like “The Abyss Awaits” and “Vote for Lunch.” It’s really this mix that gives it that old-school Venom and Celtic Frost feel that we all love. Being an album centered on guest vocalists, the vocals rarely overpower the other instruments in the mix. While they clearly do in “Gå Vekk,” tracks like “The Whispering Rocks” (with Aggressor at the mic) and “The Riders” keep the vocals even keel with the guitars in order to produce some brooding Celtic Frost and Darkthrone stew.
While there are better bands out there playing this style, Blindfisted keeps it short and on topic with a concise 27-minute running time that doesn’t overstay its welcome. So if you want something to be pissed about on your 30-minute commute to work, look no further than Blindfisted.
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps MP3
Label: Polypus Records
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 12.12.2014
Release Dates: EU: 2014.12.12 | NA (Limited Release): 12.05.2014