Category Archives: Blood & Iron

Engraved Invitation-LUCID RECESS-2010

My first clue was the fact that you had to “LIKE” the band on their Facebook page before you could download the songs. No integrity. Minus a million points. The album cover reminds me of Seether’s Karma and Effect for some reason. Minus ten points. Then I saw the self-description of the kind of music they play. “Metal/Alternative”. Alarm Bells. I also noticed that this album was recommended by those poseurs, Rolling Stone and RSJ Online.

Finally I came to the music. Oh my gawd, the music. First thing I noticed was that its not metal. Not an iota. It is not metal in this or any other universe. Power chord riffing, the occasional chugga-chugga does not metal make. Minus 100 points for misrepresentation. Then I heard the vocals. It sounds as if he is singing karaoke with the song playing on Youtube in the background. The guy tries the power metal range in the first song, realizes that he can’t do it and stops. Bad, bad. Minus another 100. Somewhere in the album he tries to do the metal shriek at the end of a line, doesnt make it. The whole album is bunch of generic mid-90’s alternative rock chords (think Candlebox, Love Battery, Bush, Stone Temple wait, STP had some good songs.) The guitar playing is competent and everything, but that doesn’t mean that this stands a chance of sounding right. Not a chance in hell. Minus another 1000 points. Oh, and they had the friggin audacity to call themselves METAL of all things? This standard, mundane post-grunge affair? Minus another 100. I could point out a million other things that I despise about this record, but wth, my point has been made.

But at least they had the good sense to give this away for free. Plus 10. Anybody keeping score?

-Baba T   



Dynamite World – BLOOD & IRON – 2009

Right. It’s time for another desi band to be reviewed. I’ll admit though, that this is a bad time to do it. My head is full to the brim with a throbbing headache, and im not sure I want to listen to a metal album. But I guess, duty calls. I didn’t know anything about Blood & Iron until a friend tipped me off. Well, I’ve listened to them now, and I think they are pretty good by all means.

A good band. Great potential.

A good band. Great potential.

This album (their second) has a really grandiose start with ‘A Promised Land’, with a fantastic sounding chant. And then it breaks into something reminiscent of a mixture of Manowar, Children of Bodom and Iron Maiden. This general feel continues pretty much all throughout the album. That might sound dull, but the band manages to keep it interesting right till the end. Not once did I think, “bloody hell, when will this end”?

There is evidently much effort given to an epic sounding feel. In that way, its quite successful, and- shock and awe- they successfully manage to avoid the extra thick layers of cheesiness that plague something like, say, Manowar. This is probably the best gothic/keyboard-y sounding Indian band I’ve come across. Speaking of keyboards, the keyboard player is EXCELLENT. Really memorable soloing and excellent use of patches and atmosphere, reminiscent of Janne Wirman and Richard Andersson. He fits the band very well. 5 stars, boss!

Guitar players are also very good, the dual attack is well executed, especially the coordinated runs. The singer again, has great range, though I think his voice is mixed too low, and the drums (especially) mixed a little high. Unfortunately, in this sonic torrent, Mr. Bass Player is lost, essentially providing a halo to the sound. Next album, though, I’m hoping to hear a bit more from the bassist of this highly capable sextet. Also the drumming is really good, with awesome double bass pedalling, though I wouldn’t say it always fits the groove the songs demand.

If they were in Scandinavia, they would be a popular band in those countries, playing music which sounds somewhat like erm….Viking Metal. It’s just a tag that I just invented. It’s sad to see how such good bands, which could really have been big in the Scandinavian scene (if they were there), are stuck here, where their music can’t be appreciated fully. Pity.

This isn’t try-once-and-then-throw music that I’ve heard from most Indian bands. This is worth downloading and listening to over and over again (though not necessarily in one sitting). My picks would be the first and last tracks, both of which are unique, not in the least because of their use of non-pentatonic scales, chants, and what not.

Flaws? A couple, I guess. The most major one is that the chord changes are familiar and don’t usually change from song to song. So using more unfamiliar chord changes would vastly alleviate the overall sound of the band. Further, a mix of influences that identifies the sound immediately as Blood & Iron is needed. Even so, as a step in the evolution of a good band, this sounds right.

- El Bajista

Yes, we are patriots! Get more DESI ROCK reviews HERE.


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