The nineties are back! Don’t worry, I’m not talking about eurodance or bad haircuts but about what seems like an early metallic hardcore revival. Earlier this year we heard bands like xRepentancex and Renounced reinvent the sound of bands like Arkangel, Morning Again, Earth Crisis and All Out War. Named after a Strife song, Blistered are doing something quite similar. With The Poison of Self Confinement, Blistered perfect the sound of their critically acclaimed EP Soul Erosion. Blistered’s debut full length on 6131 Records takes its listeners back in time without for a minute sounding outdated.
The album art of The Poison of Self Confinement, shows a post-apocalyptic world where a man kneels next to a dead body. Could it be that this scene is the result of the apocalypse that is The Poison of Self Confinement? Opening track ‘Path of the Coward’ starts with a Slayer-esque riff that guides the listener to a world of hard-hitting but catchy riffs, fast-paced parts that could fire up any circle pit and heavy breakdowns. Singer William Lennon Livesay’s hoarse voice sounds angry as hell and reminds of Arkangel’s Baldur Vildmurdarson. Sometimes his screams are interspersed with Morning Again-style spoken parts. The journey from the ‘Path of the Coward’ towards ‘Death at Heaven’s Doorstep’ takes about 25 minutes and ends with the heaviest breakdown on the record, leaving the listener exhausted but hungry for more.
Are there any downsides to this album? The biggest critique one could give is that Blistered aren’t doing anything new. But who cares about originality when an album is this good? Blistered are an example of what the Ancient Romans would call imitatio et aemulatio, or: to imitate and improve. Blistered take everything that makes metallic hardcore great and craft it into a record that is as least as good as its examples.
Listening to Blistered in your living room is enjoyable, though it doesn’t seem like the best environment for the record. The Poison of Self Confinement is grade A mosh pit material. With their appearances on this year’s Life & Death tour Blistered have already proven they can get a crowd moving. It’s high time for Blistered to do a European tour so hardcore fans across the ocean can witness this apocalypse in real life.
Track list – The Poison of Self Confinement:
1. Path of the Coward
2. Caustic Promise
3. The Poison of Self Confinement
4. Illusion of Destiny
6. Lust for Vengeance
7. Kingdom of Traitors
8. Memories to Burn
9. Into the Dying Light
10. Death at Heaven’s Doorstep
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Written by Wannes Dewanckel