It's been a good three years since the last release from the Swedish boys of Blindside. A Thought Crushed My Mind, the band's second hardcore release with Tooth & Nail Records helped carry forth the Blindside name, but the band's raw and haphazard sound didn't allow the band to be as listener-friendly as perhaps they might have wanted.
Since then, the band has become tighter friends with rock extraordinaires P.O.D. who hasn't forgotten their friends as they've risen to the top as of the past couple years. Since signing on the dotted line with Elektra records, Blindside has also partnered with the birth of P.O.D.'s new self-owned label Three Point Records. With an experienced producer on board and mixed by the renowned Christ Lord-Alge, Blindside's third offering, Silence is easily their best release to date. The band mixes their established hardcore sound with a more accessible rock edge. With hints of metal and classic -- dare I say it? -- 80's rock, the end result is a hard hitting emotional and infectious national release. The album's first single, "Pitiful," a track that talking about trying to get away with our sins and hurting our Savior in the process, has even landed the quartet on Conan O'Brien's show in September to perform the song live. But the album's greatest moment appears in the track "Sleepwalking," another song touching on our struggles with sin and the schizophrenic personalities we can have because of it. The real charm of the song exists in the addicting chorus and the rhythm and harmonies present there. The guitars and vocals are strongly reminiscent of something you may have heard from Bon Jovi over fifteen years ago but seem fresh and applied well enough here that it just seems to fit so nicely. "Sleepwalking" is appropriately followed by the almost equally good, "Cute Boring Love," a song that speaks to the messed up view of love our society currently has. Vocalist Christian Lindskog groans, "(She said) Now we are allowed to think / Now we are allowed to feel lust without cute boring love / But don't you ever just like me / Long for purity... The one thing I hate most about me / Is the one thing that you want to make your trademark / To feel lust without cute boring love..." The tragedy of the song plays out well with the music as I have to give extra props to the guys for daring to touch on the subject.
Christian sings more on this record than previous efforts, yet still tosses his classic screams into the mix creating an excellent end result accompanied by driving fuzzy guitars and passionate backing vocals. "Time Will Change Your Heart" offers more of a throwback to older Blindside before breaking into a catchy chorus slightly reminiscent of P.O.D. "Painting" is soaked with an 80's metal feel with a modern update, "Midnight" is beautifully dreary and melodic, while "Coming Back To Life" and "She Shut Your Eyes" fill in before the album closes with the drab moans of the title track.
While Silence may not be especially innovative, it's nice to hear something moderately different from the Creed wannabes flooding the mainstream modern rock scene. Blindside deserves the break that is potentially offered on Silence, let's hope the record is given the chance to.- Review date: 12/28/02, written by John DiBiase
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