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Release Review: The Blame – Born

Turkey is a country which, despite not boasting the most prominent of metal scenes, certainly has a heritage rich enough to provide some more innovative twists to the formula. However, melodic thrashers The Blame don’t milk that trendwagon much, instead offering a blend of American-styled genres ranging from heavy to thrash metal, accompanied with some minor proggier and melodic elements for a motley band of influences on their début album Born.

The most immediate of these influences that jumps out is a healthy appreciation for the ‘classic bands’, giving off echoes of Iron Maiden in the guitarwork of Sarp such as on the rumbling “Guiding Light”, and Altinay has his own Rush-like prominence on bass. The opener, “Another Stolen Life”, on the other hand, is a more thrashier number, something of Machine Head-lite with an echo of power metal rhythm in Kantarcioglu’s drumming, and topped off with a traditional “heavy metal” solo from Sarp. The guitarwork is one of the more enjoyable elements of Born, such as the solo on “Deserted Nation”, or the shred-fest that is “Exile”. Vocally, Ozen takes smatterings of Belladonna and Warrel Dane into consideration, but they unfortunately require the more powerful musical sections to lift them out of mediocrity, not helped by intermittent superfluous gang vocals.

The band falls into the chug trap occasionally, resulting in forgettable tracks like “Valley Of Trade”, with its extraneous storm noises, or “Fading Day”, which is a fairly safe number, but the real bone of contention I have emerges in “Lost In A Rabbit-Hole”, a pseudo-ballad bookended by out-of-tune acoustic guitars and brief female backing vocals which don’t contribute much to the overall feel of the song, while also showcasing some unadulterated Maiden worship that could have been better concealed.

In spite of that, I find numerous enjoyable parts, particularly in choruses such as on the falsetto-reaching “The Scarab”. There are also occasional bursts of Gama Bomb speed such as on “Beyond The Wind” or “Made In Stone”, and the bass provides light relief with its relative funk influence. The sporadic growls are also cool, a possible allusion to Thrown To The Sun, in which 3 of The Blame’s members also play. “Another Stolen Life” ultimately remains my favorite track for its catchiness and neatly introducing the band’s formula, although “Beyond The Wind” certainly has its own moments as well.

While Born doesn’t quite succeed in hiding its influences from the listener, I can hear the moments that will appeal to fans of the thrash and heavy metal genres. The album is not my cup of tea in the long run, but I appreciate the musicianship that’s gone into it, and every so often I find myself returning to one or two of the finer tracks. In short, Turkey has another band to fly the metal flag proudly, and a strong representative on the competitive world stage, and with some maturation in their love of their influences, The Blame stand in good stead for the future.

Tracklisting:
1. Another Stolen Life
2. Guiding Light
3. The Scarab
4. Valley Of Trade
5. Lost In A Rabbit-Hole
6. Beyond The Wind
7. Deserted Nation
8. Fading Day
9. Sacred Souls
10. Exile
11. Made In Stone

The Blame (on this record) is:
Aykut Ozen – Vocals
Berca B. Kantarcioglu – Drums
Bahadir Sarp – Guitars
Onur Altinay – Fretless Bass / Bass

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Angel
About Angel (104 Articles)
Angel is a headless chicken masquerading as a music addict, or potentially the other way round. He is the founder and editor of music website Broken Amp, as well as a publicist for Dewar PR, and otherwise offers proofreading and translation services. His musical taste covers most of the musical spectrum (including pretty much every metal genre under the sun), and he can be found enthusiastically rambling about music and other topics on Twitter: @markangelbrandt. Check out Angel's work online: http://www.markangelbrandt.com/ & http://brokenamp.com/

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