MAY 1st 2012
BLASTANUS: COLLAPSE

Review by: Barretticus

Genre: Death Metal

The band is from Norway, so I'm not sure if the name means something in Norwegian, as in Blastanus, blasTANUS, or if it is actually meant to be Blast -ANUS as I have been pronouncing it in my head. I guess it doesn't matter as long as you remember the name and remember to to check them out when you get home. It is fantastic; Blastanus' new full length album is a really good, technical, evenly mixed, professional sounding record.

Aside from being really talented and having a great record in every sense of everyday usage, here is another reason to listen to them and and go deeper.

If they were just a death metal band, they would be and actually are excellent. But they aren't just a death metal band; they are a death metal band with a very unique element. They have a sax player. That's right, I said a fucking Saxophonist! How awesome is that? The arguement could be said that there are bands that have done this with orchestras and its not that special. This is not what Im talking about. This isn't Metallica's old school watered down S&M; this is brutal European technical death metal with a JAZZ style saxophonist.

When listening to the record, subtle jazz sensibilities sneak their way in to the music. This is such a fantastic feat. I was once told by a very judgemental but not unskilled musician once when I had requested a metal radio station to listen to on a road trip, that "it's not real music unless you can play a saxophone with it." A; I don't judge or begrudge a person for any music they enjoy listening to, regardless of my own feelings towards certain genres, and B; I guess I really get to rub it in that guy's face now, don't I?

Ahh, sweet validation.

The only problem with the record, and it is kind of a big one, is that throughout the majority of the album, the sax is indecipherable from the rest of the instruments. The most you get to hear of the sax in any kind of solo effort is the 30 second jazz interlude in the middle of the last song, Collapse. I thought this was a really cool element to the music and the instrumental and focal change was handled very well. If I am wrong and the sax can be heard throughout the record, then my thoughts are that the sound has been effected to sound more like the crunching guitars and then it becomes indistinguishable within the song amongst all the other sounds.

The album itself stands alone as something good enough to stay in regular rotation on my playlist, but if there is going to be something as unique as a Saxophone in the mix, it has to be put in the forefront and be noticeable. It doesn't have to be the focus of the band but it needs to be audible to help set them apart from the rest. Perhaps it is as such during a live performance or hopefully will be this way on the next album.

Still at the very least, go check this record out and enjoy the hell out of it.

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