Just like some albums are growers, you occasionally encounter one that takes time to reveal itself as garbage. It may seem like a potentially good time, but repeat listens magnify all the flaws to the point you can no longer fathom what attracted you in the first place. Not so with Apocalypse 2.0, an ostensibly progressive metal album by Blind Seer. I knew for a fact this was garbage after exactly nine seconds. Nothing good could follow the attempted falsetto there. It sounds like your drunk uncle decided the family party karaoke was the perfect moment to relive his hair metal days, stripped off his pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt, and screamed his worst Geoff Tate imitation into the microphone. Hold on to your testicles, because it doesn’t get better from here on out.
Before I continue about the music though, I have to say a few words about that album cover. It looks like the unholy union of ancient animated show ReBoot, a jar of turquoise ink, and an early ’70s idea of the word “futuristic.” I don’t know whether to give a lifelong Photoshop ban to whoever created this abomination or to thank them because their work likely prevented many from making the mistake of purchasing this thing, this steaming dump, this absolute negative space of instrumental, vocal and songwriting talent.
It’s hard to pick out separate songs or moments as exemplary awful; there is just too much to complain about. The songs have all the flow of LA rush hour traffic. The guitars can’t decide whether to be simply dull, to screech like an electric goblin in a tin can or to simply hide inside the stripped shell of a microwave. The rhythm section mostly leans back and lets the guitars and vocals do all the embarrassment for them. I strongly suspect the real vocalist was ill, and so the band hired a hobo and gave him 20 minutes of practice before shoving him into the studio. His pronunciation is cotton-ball-in-throat-awful, his nasal and inebriated timbre is worse, and when he attempts to go beyond his pay grade, he screeches out in a baffling falsetto which could be harnessed to give Simon Cowell an aneurysm. He’s lucky to be on key even 10 percent of the time, luckier still that it’s hard to tell whether he or his band members are off-tempo constantly, as no element in the music seems to properly mesh with one another. I’ve heard several moments where the band seems confused as to what rhythm they’re supposed to be playing.
There’s more fun to be had. Someone in the band got his hands on a synthesizer, unfortunately, and spends the full running time injecting electronics where they don’t belong in a manner that should never be practiced, including vocoding the dismal voice at unexpected moments. The production is a mess as well. The mix is confused, to say the least, and it’s utterly schizophrenic as to what to put the focus on, oscillating between the vocals and the guitars, and losing track of the bass regularly. Near the end, as if to add a deathblow to the back of your battered skull, “My Mind Can’t Feel” introduces an attempt at industrial and rap into the mix. I’d call it the frontrunner for the Most Misguided Decision o’ the Year, but it’s still competing with the opening falsetto, the synthesizer injections, and the release of Apocalypse 2.0, so Blind Seer already filled the stage on that competition.
Is there nothing positive at all? Well, in the hands of a better band, “Sanctuary” could have been killer, with an uncharacteristically great chorus Iron Savior might have rocked. It might’ve been enough for a half-point score… But Blind Seer decided otherwise. They could not have desecrated the late Sir David Bowie worse than they have with the traumatic atrocity that is their cover of “Starman,” even by digging up the Duke’s corpse and shoving a cactus in his backside. Everything they did to ruin their own music is turned up to 11, and hearing it applied to one of the greatest artists in history makes me physically ill. To paraphrase Billy Madison: Blind Seer, what you’ve just recorded is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent album were you even close to anything that could be considered decent music. Everyone on this site is dumber for having listened to even a single song on it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.