On their webpage, Finnish based Blind Stare describe themselves as ” Melodic/Symphonic/Death Metal “, which is a fair description but after playing their second full length studio album, The Dividing Line, there are a lot more strings to their bow. Repeated plays bring forth some awesome power, speed and progressive metal segments. 11 monumental metal tracks at a running time of just over 50 minutes make it an essential purchase for those who like their metal with stunning musicianship.
In fact, for the first 2 years from their inception in 1999, Blind Stare were a purely instrumental band before incorporating vocals into their material. Debut album Symphony Of Delusions, released in 2005 was well received and they have gone on from strength to strength, culminating in The Dividing Line being recorded and released via Inverse Records on July 27th 2012. Mixed by Kari Nieminen, The Dividing Line is an outstanding example of a band at the top of their game. The vocals of Eino Tuominen are worthy of mention as he incorporates clean, bellowed and snarling styles into the songs. On some bands i have heard, it all sounds a bit forced, but with the quality of Blind Stare’s music, it works. At times he sounds truly possessed!
Their are no fillers in the 11 tracks here but standouts are album opener Cold New World. Kicking off with an almost nwobhm guitar riff, the keyboards ease in as Eino delivers his first vocal, sounding similar to Anders Friden from In Flames. The song also has a Dragonforce type guitar/keyboard duel midway. The slow burning Mind 8217’s Armor’s orchestral start segues into a demonic vocal as the song builds into a barrage of guitar riffs backed by some jarring pomp keyboards. Bring Down The Tears could be described as a power ballad, but it’s surging rhythms make it into a power metal ballad with yet more lung busting vocals! Death And Rebirth is another pedal to the floor number, it’s opening speed riffs are joined by punchy kick drumming from Timo Palokankare. The vocals here are similar to Satyr from Satyricon. Lilting keys at the start of Blessing Of Freyja suggest a drop in pace but within seconds it develops into an all out metal stomp, the vocals sound as if they are spat out as the song ends in a wall of guitar and keyboards. Album highlight for me is next, the 7 minute epic Redemption. The rule book is thrown away here as the song contains every mood imaginable. Grandiose pomp rock, gentile guitars, huge guitar riffs, haunting keyboards and a stunning vocal are all here as the song builds into a Megadeth speed finish. The Disciple’s death metal opening shifts into a mixture of Queensryche and Manowar with guttural vocals, all in the first 2 minutes! The song concludes with call and response clean/aggressive vocals over staccato speed guitar riffs.
Blind Stare band line up :-
Anders Ostrom – Guitars.
Eino Tuominen – Lead growl/clean vocals.
Jaakko Lehtinen – Lead guitar/lead clean vocals.
Timo Palokankare – Drums.
Tuomas Riihimaki – Keyboards.
Ossi Elonen – Bass guitar.
The Dividing Line album track listing :-
Cold New World.
Mind 8217’s Armor.
Bring Down The Tears.
Death And Rebirth.
Blessing Of Freyja.
Daughter Of The Sun.
Legion Of Lost Minds.
I award The Dividing Line album a well deserved 9.5/10 m/