It's been just over a year since the release of Blindside's last outing, About A Burning Fire, an album that saw Blindside break out more from the mold that they lived in on prior albums, to a more mature sound. The difference was definitely noticed by fans that had followed the band since their 1997 self-titled debut, pleasing some, and disappointing others.
Since the release of AABF, however, Blindside has been busy. After re-releasing both their self-titled debut, as well as their follow-up A Thought Crushed My Mind, along with a 3 hour retrospective dvd, the band began writing songs that would form their newest outing, The Great Depression. What we find with this release, however, is what could be considered to be one of their strongest records to date. Helpful to the band, was the fact that they went back to their old label, DRT Entertainment, which not only released the band's debut, but also the remastered versions of their first two outings. The second thing the band did was to go out and hire the producer of their s/t album, Lasse Marten, to turn the production knobs on this newest album.
The album starts out extremely strong, with the drone like guitars on "Heart Attack", a song that holds you in limbo during the verse, only to smack you upside the head as it kicks into the chorus. One can immediately tell the band has made drastic improvements over their past few albums. There is a bite in the new songs that wasn't as noticeable on "About A Burning Fire", or "Silence".
The album continues along, stringing the listener in and out of songs with almost a post-hardcore feel, until reaching "Yemkela", the album's fifth track. The song starts out with an aggressive chord progression, just before kicking into a nice groove, overlaid with a guitar lead that will make the listened want to move. This song, along with the following two, "Put Back the Stars", and the first single, "Fell In Love With the Game", is an extremely well put together group of songs that takes the listener from hard, to a more introspective, mellow tone, and back into the aggressiveness the band is known for.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of the cd comes with the song "This Time", another song that, while much more mellow than the opening track, draws the listener in with a droning guitar part, making you feel as if you are right in the middle of the song. Some of the most personal lyrics of the album can also be found on the song as well, as Christian sings, "I saw Jesus in your eyes, as you kissed the sky, and now I know what grace looks like." Undoubtedly, Christian drew inspiration from his recent humanitarian trip with his wife to Africa this past year, and it shows in some of the personal lyrics displayed throughout the album.
Blindside has brought forth an album that showcases well the best elements of the band from the past 3 albums. With a little more room to stretch creatively, Blindside has matured well over the last few years, while bringing out some of their more hardcore elements of past outings that their fans loved so much. This is definitely a step in the right direction, and fans of Blindside, new and old, will find equal enjoyment in this latest recording by the boys from Sweden.
Blindside - The Great Depression