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The Blinding Light - The Ascension Attempt (Cover Artwork)

The Blinding Light

The Blinding Light: The Ascension AttemptThe Ascension Attempt (2004)
Deathwish Inc.

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: FortyMinutesWestFortyMinutesWest
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Deathwish has had a good year thus far, with quality releases from Sex Positions and Some Girls, and now with this one from The Blinding Light. I had heard lots of good things about this band, but I'd always been too wrapped in something else to really give them a fair listen. This situation was e.
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Deathwish has had a good year thus far, with quality releases from Sex Positions and Some Girls, and now with this one from The Blinding Light. I had heard lots of good things about this band, but I'd always been too wrapped in something else to really give them a fair listen. This situation was easily resolved, all I had to do was walk down to the mail box and retrieve the envelope that was mailed to me, which was festively adorned with a Casualties sticker.

My first impression was mixed, I dug the music, but I didn't think the vocals fit. That opinion only lasted for a couple of minutes, by that time, the vocal stylings of former Threadbare frontman Brian Lovro had grown on me. His voice is similar to Daryl Taberski of Snapcase, although, much more frantic. The music isn't exaclty a surprise, if you've been paying much attention to the types of bands Deathwish usually signs. Words like manic, relentless, and heavy don't really do this band justice. Every other band seems to be described in these terms, but The Blinding Light really exemplifies them. When people say a band sounds "crazy," they mean that the band sounds like this. The band's attack is focused, and just plain intense. There are some slower moments thrown in here and there, but they serve only to build up to more mayhem. Comparisons could be made to Converge, especially during the calmer parts of the album, where the screams give way to more haunting vocals. There are plenty of heavy parts to appease people looking for that, and the music is complex enough to impress metal fans, while not so complex that it will alienate the average listener. It's technical, but not just for the sake of being technical. Everything on "The Ascension Attempt" seems to be there for a reason, and this gives it a sense of restrained panic. The music is almost threatening to escape the speakers by itself, with the band only slightly controlling it with their instruments. It feels like this control could be lost at any moment, and this is what keeps the listener's attention. The Blinding Light's mix of chaos, ambience, and sheer power is enough to warrant repeat spins in my cd player.

Although comparisons to other bands who use chaotic song structures and tempo shifts can't really be avoided, The Blinding Light certainly has the strength to stand on their own. This album is interesting enough to catch the attention of a lot of people. If there was a fair amount of hype surrounding this band before this release, I imagine it will be doubled in the coming months. But don't let that distract you from the most important thing here, the music. When everything else is set aside, this is an excellent album.

Hydrant MP3


 
People who liked this also liked:
Embrace Today - SoldiersIntegrity - To Die ForConverge - Unloved and Weeded OutR'N'R - The Infamous And NotoriousTreephort - Enchanted ForestEscape Grace - Escape GraceQ And Not U - PowerChampion - Promises KeptCircles Over Sidelights - What Is And What Is To BecomeVarious - Hellfest Volume III DVD

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
manifesto (July 12, 2004)

Very impressive album! Everytime I went to the Deathwish website, I always listened to the Blinding Light e-card. I really think about purchasing this album...but I'll buy Miss Machine and You Fail Me first :)

Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

The new school bands are learning from Metallica and Iron Maiden, not Cryptic Slaughter and Repulsion. That's why I think it sucks.

-BSD

FortyMinutesWest (July 9, 2004)

*rely not really

FortyMinutesWest (July 9, 2004)

Well, there are those bands who like nothing more than to be Poison the Well pt 2, however, not all metalcore is like. I already mentioned Shai Hulud, there's also bands like Converge, Psyopus, this band, who don't really on "emo" breaks at all. Converge has softer parts, but they aren't pretty, they feel uneasy and confused, so it adds to the feeling of panic in a lot of their songs. I think they bring back the spirit of older hardcore, particularly in their live show.

Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

My only real beef with this modern hardcore stuff is how generic I think it sounds. The music just kind of rocks along, throws in some breakdowns, throw in some "melodic" parts that usually involve a guy singing while someone screams behind him, and that's it. I like more random stuff, like Spazz.

-BSD

FortyMinutesWest (July 9, 2004)

Well, yeah, palm muting isn't hard. But keep in mind, playing and writing are two different things. I like SOD a lot, as well, but their song writing is drastically different than modern hardcore/metal bands. I think breakdowns can be fun in some cases, just like I'm sure you find simple punk songs to be fun.

And yeah, Chad Gilbert is a douche. His support of the Boston Beatdown bullshit is hypocritical considering his former band's outspoken stance against violence.

Anonymous (July 9, 2004)

No, it's lazy to me because I play guitar, and I have friends who do, also. From how built up and technical "chugga" riffing bands were supposed to be, I thought I was a genius when I played along perfectly to "Douche Crew" by S.O.D.. Then my friends came over and I taught them all in less than a day how to play songs like that.

I think you referenced to playing guitar once, too. From any hardcore fan's viewpoint, if Discharge can do it, you can. And Discharge virtually invented metal-hardcore (as well as street-punk), go figure. I only started playing guitar a year and a half ago, first albums I tried to play along with were Discharge (Fight Back) and the Ramones (S/T)... It was easier to do Discharge (minus the 1/2 random solos, I didn't know scales yet).

While Shai Hulud is more melodic than most metalcore, I still find them to fall into the same trying too hard lyrical cliches. That's opinion, though. I just like my hardcore lyrics to the point and clever. Anything more, especially delivered over some melodi-metal riff sounds melodramatic to me.

I also think Chad Gilbert is a fashion whore.

-BSD

FortyMinutesWest (July 9, 2004)

You could write that, it would be innacurate though. If you've ever seen Shai Hulud, you'd know they look like normal guys, they dont wear tight jeans or anything like that. They rarely do the "Chugga chugga" thing either, they rely more or melodies and straight forward hardcore influenced approach. Shai Hulud is probably one of the few true instances of metalcore that actually is metal and hardcore, not just dumbed down metal with a breakdown thrown in.

As for lyrics:
"We cannot embrace our roles blindly
They‚??re assigned
They are assigned, based on the fact that we will accept
Minds are in suspended animation
Due to an attachment to this established lifestyle
My existence will not be dictated like a reading from a book
I will not be predetermined.
Our outlook is bleak.
When approval is all we crave and the moment is grand.
Your pride is sickening.
In your conformity.
But this moment is grand.
We should strive for autonomous thoughts.
Approval is all we crave."

Their lyrics are full of social commentary, for the most part. You might think they're shitty, or pretentious, but they're hardly the faux-emo lyrics you potray them to be. Your review would be dead on if it were about From Autumn To Ashes, but not Shai Hulud.

My comments about The Casualties were only about the Casualties, not every band. Is there a dress code in hardcore/grind/metal/thrash/whatever? Probably. Do I give a shit? No. And I reserve the right to mock anyone who does. I don't find "chugga chugga" to be lazy, if it's done well. I'm not saying breakdowns for no reason, but bands like Meshuggah use it brilliantly. Some people think power chords are lazy too, that doesn't mean they are. It's lazy to you because you don't like it, I can accept that, but it's hardly a fact. Not all metalcore bands are based around it. I can tell you're frustrated with the way people view punk bands, and I csn hardly blame you, but don't you think there are people who listen to hardcore and metal and every other genre covered on this site that feel the same way? I started listening to bands like Shai Hulud and Strongarm 6 or 7 years ago, back then, no one knew what the deal was. I could be bitter about the new wave of fashion obsessed kids who represent the music I like so poorly, but I know they'll go away eventually, so I'm not losing any sleep over it. Judging an entire genre on kids who got into Shattered Realm because Slipknot wasn't tough enough doesn't make any sense.

I'm sure I didn't change your mind, but I felt like saying this anyway, it's been annoying me lately.

Anonymous (July 8, 2004)

The Casualties forums are hardly the only ones with the sarcastic "up the punx" posts. If my "macho chug" reference is overused, then the "oi oi up the punx1" is so doubly.

Better yet, I think it's true that metalcore bands ARE built around the lame "chug" method of song writing, which, contrary to popular belief, is quite lazy.

And since the Casualties are punk at its dumbest, I'll accept your opinion that their music is made with the dumbest of sloganeering in mind.

While you wrote a review of the Casualties making fun of their fashion stance (which I think is alright, they are fashion punks), I could do the same with the metalcore scene.

I just think it's kind of hypocritical for hardcore/grind/metalcore kids to act like their scenes don't have stupid dress codes. So should I write a Shai Hulud review that goes something like

"7 am- Woke up early, worked out. My girlfriend bought me a shirt last night, hopefully it'll be tighter than that last one. I already know I have to rip off the sleaves. Oh well.

11 am- Listened to Earth Crisis, put on my old football jersey. Looked at random 14 year old girls' AIM profiles for lyrical inspiration."

??? Well, should I?

-BSD

FortyMinutesWest (July 8, 2004)

" I mean, I kind of see it as the "oi up the punx!1" that you guys characterize any punk band you haven't heard of with. So any metalcore band I haven't heard of, it's "chuggity chug don't do a drug chuggity dun dun dun dun dundundun dun dun stay true to your scene put a gun to my head she left me". "

You guys? I've said that about the Casualties, because well, it's accurate. Other than that, I don't recall saying that about any punk bands, let alone those I haven't heard yet.

Anonymous (July 8, 2004)

I mean, I kind of see it as the "oi up the punx!1" that you guys characterize any punk band you haven't heard of with. So any metalcore band I haven't heard of, it's "chuggity chug don't do a drug chuggity dun dun dun dun dundundun dun dun stay true to your scene put a gun to my head she left me".

-BSD

Anonymous (July 8, 2004)

It obviously hasn't if people still consider it good music.

-BSD

FortyMinutesWest (July 8, 2004)

The beanie man comment was funny, but the other one was weak. Come on, that joke has been done to death.

Anonymous (July 8, 2004)

hey, remember Cave In? not the alternative band CAve In, the metal band...what ever happened to Cave In?

oh this band is stupid, didn't their mothers tell them their music sucks?

Anonymous (July 8, 2004)

I even wrote a song: CHUG (psh) CHUGITYCHUGITYCHUG (psh) CHUGCHUGDUN DUNUNUN DUNUNU NANUNUN CHUG DUNUNUN DUNUNU DANUNUNUNUNA

-BSD

Anonymous (July 8, 2004)

"BSD sat in on the recording of this album."

I guested... See, that isn't really Beenie Man guesting on their dub/dancehall track.

-BSD

Anonymous (July 7, 2004)

"This genre is actually pretty fun. It's good to have a variety of genres. There are good bands in all genres.

That is a very, very dumb thing to say...it just is

Anonymous (July 7, 2004)

the suicide file was fantastic.

opivykid (July 7, 2004)

Ahh whatever, I just went to the site, clicked on "bands", and listed the ones I liked... just realized Suicide File broke up though. Shitty news, they put out some good shit...

Anonymous (July 7, 2004)

This genre is actually pretty fun. It's good to have a variety of genres. There are good bands in all genres.

FortyMinutesWest (July 7, 2004)

Well, most of the bands you listed arent even on Deathwish.

opivykid (July 7, 2004)

Well, 100 Demons are funny as hell (just read the lyrics) so thats why they're on the list of bands that own.

FortyMinutesWest (July 6, 2004)

Well, I could comment on individual ska bands, but I don't. This band doesn't suck, and they're a lot better than 100 Demons.

opivykid (July 6, 2004)

Well I'm not saying an entire genre sucks (that would be stupid), yet I'm just saying many bands that people think are godly now, don't really deserve shit...

FortyMinutesWest (July 6, 2004)

That's your opinion. I don't like ska, but that doesn't automatically make every ska band suck.

opivykid (July 6, 2004)

And ya, the last comment was towards that fool Conduit, that said that EVERY band on Deathwish was good.

opivykid (July 6, 2004)

Ohh man! Yeah dude, that Some Girls cd was soooo good.... wait, no it wasn't. Ohh maybe it was the Sex Positions cd that was good, I mean, I saw them a year or so back, and liked them a lot, so yeah, it was that cd that rocked... ohh wait, no it wasn't, it only had 1 or 2 good songs on it. What the hell, the reviewer said both were "quality releases" yet they both sucked, Wait, this band sucks too. Thankfully, Deathwish still has 100 Demons, Converge, Embrace Today, and The Hope Conspiracy, plus some other bands that I haven't heard yet (so I wont talk), to counter these shitty bands...

FortyMinutesWest (July 6, 2004)

BSD sat in on the recording of this album.

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

The "angry" thing is a charade.

This music is as much a farce as hair metal, just not as funny.

-BSD

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

Well.. that's too bad. It's not what I had hoped for at all. I love Threadbare and this just didn't even come close.. I know that it is stupid to think they should but.. this isn't really too great.

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

HA-HA! OP Ivy kid..That is funny stuff!

I'm gonna check this out right away.. my metal friends really dig this band so...

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

i want to hear this. i love threadbare.

Conduit (July 6, 2004)

Actually, this band and just about every band on Deathwish is great, but you probably don't know good music considering your screen name is "Op Ivy Kid" and Operation Ivy fucking suck. Thats right, eat me.

opivykid (July 6, 2004)

You made this band out to be the greatest thing EVER... yet, what I got from the mp3 "Hydrant" was pure shit.

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