The Blinding Light - The Ascension Attempt (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Blinding Light

The Ascension Attempt (2004)


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