Of Unsound Minds


Time for insanity, unbelievable eruption of irrationality and constant obsession with paranoia, like losing yourself […]
November 25, 2013
AfterBlood - Of Unsound Minds album cover

Time for insanity, unbelievable eruption of irrationality and constant obsession with paranoia, like losing yourself into a darkened void, hearing voices around you, screaming without waking up, it is stranger than fiction or just reality pounding hard on your skull begging for you to remain alert? Though I am not too sure, as I am just guessing, but I sensed the foundation of the Greek modern extremitized Thrash Metal group of AFTERBLOOD, corralled in a straitjacket by founders Hel Pyre (vocals) and Cyan (guitars), was to observe mainly on the social decay yet with correlations to darkened arts, which psychosis is the true blackened cloud above. Finally unleashing their debut album, "Of Unsound Minds", released on their own (yes, I have been waiting for this one for quite some time), AFTERBLOOD strived to push the limits of Thrash Metal into new spheres, adding a to their SLAYER meets late 90's KREATOR style of the "Outcast" and "Endorama" eras, evangelist Gothic elements, which would remind of PARADISE LOST, for the draw of a blackened shade on their songs, quite a prospect and a risk worth taking to assort the Thrash groundwork for a tad bit.

Right before I sink into the band's material, I have to comment about the album's production work. The Polish producer Waldemar Sorychta (GRIP INC. / ENEMY OF THE SUN), also showing his guitaring skills on one of the tracks, mixed and mastered the release in the rightful procedural and industrial values of nowadays' polished and fresh modern Metal releases. Along with the aid of the sound engineer, Dennis Koehne (responsible for projects of LACUNA COIL / MOONSPELL / TIAMAT / SAMAEL), "Of Unsound Minds" maintained itself as a darkened and melancholic attacking atrocity with plenty of power. Now, I will descend into the belly of the beast, and yeah it was bloody.

Generally, following the addition of various elements from the Gothic Metal world, which all in all contributed to this release, this album has been a full scale assault, in the modern age of course, don't expect even the slight old school standpoints, maybe in tiny portions. Cyan's guitar riffs, as his vision mainly attributed to the riff based tunes, were pretty solid, portraying common contemporary Thrash rhythm riffery highly SLAYER like but with a spike of the lost late 90's version of KREATOR. Not over the edge stuff but well written, keeping it morbid. In addition through the riffing, he shared hints of melodic proportions here and there that were appealing, resembling mostly of something you might witness in the works of PARADISE LOST's Greg Mackintosh ("Mission Of Aggression"), meaning forsaken licks alongside a discharge of soloing (should have written more) in the Hanemann contour that were highly energetic. Markus Freiwald (SODOM) recorded the entire drums' role of the release, showing his talent as a profound skinman, sticking to the plan at hand, amassing some technique, nothing shabby, no more and no less. Same I can acclaim to the bass teamster Dasno, not anything too thrilling, yet solidly remained in line. Hel Pyre revealed herself as a rather wicked frontwoman, not guttural growling herself out like Sabina Classen (HOLY MOSES) or Angela Gossow (ARCH ENEMY), but rather asserting herself as the famine version of Jeff Walker (CARCASS) but even more distinguishable. Frankly, since I know how she sings in a cleaner voice, I would have implemented clean vocals to the some of the songs to show surplus dimension, could have made Hel Pyre further dominant, also since there aren't too many melodic pieces.

Undoubtedly the guest vocalists helped to make a difference in the cases of "Mission Of Aggression" with Unkel Tom Angelripper (SODOM) in the ranks, and "The More I Lie" where Antony Hämäläinen (ex-NIGHTRAGE / MERIDIAN DAWN) spewed his guts like a champion with high end growls. However, on both counts, Cyan's musical creations along with Hel Pyre's raspy tones thin growls, especially on "Mission Of Aggression", made it happen. "Take", bearing semi harmonious grooves and a simplified pattern on the chorus, represented itself as a fine opener, not what you would call kicking and screaming, but a solid piece of chunk crushing heaviness, gathering speed and lowering gears at will. The mid tempo "Psychonic" shattering chugger, adhering gullible riffs just for bashing, yet revealing what the true meaning of mental disorder, a constant inner struggle to retain one's sanity, worthwhile the bashing. However, the KREATOR cover of "Phobia", coming as a bonus track, even though that era of the German giant suits AFTERBLOOD's musical directive, isn't close to be thrilling, as if something is missing as it felt empty. Gladly it is only a bonus.

I would reckon "Of Unsound Minds" as an straightforward lunacy release, grinding on the modern version of Thrash, keeping it common but with a few surprises on the side. Definitely this is an album for modern Metal fans to squander and fathom, but on the other hand, old school fanatics could also find themselves in this asylum.

8 / 10


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"Of Unsound Minds" Track-listing:

1. Take
2. Before Time Runs Out
3. Mission of Aggression
4. Thoughts of Black
5. Play Dead
6. Beyond
7. Calling the Dead (Séance)
8. Helheim
9. The More I Lie
10. Psychonic
11. Goodnight
Bonus Track:
12. Phobia (Kreator Cover)

AfterBlood Lineup:

"Of Unsound Minds" Lineup:
Hel Pyre - Vocals
Cyan - Guitars
Dasno - Bass
Markus Freiwald - Drums

Tom Angelripper - Vocals ("Mission Of Agression")
Antony Hämäläinen - Vocals ("The More I Lie")
Waldemar Sorychta - Guitar Solo ("Beyond")

Current Lineup:
Hel Pyre - Vocals
Cyan - Guitars
Dasno - Bass
Stylian - Guitars
Vector - Drums

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