Affliction XXIX II MXMVI

1. Self-consciousness Is Desire and
2. After 38 Weeks
3. My New Playground Became
4. Dark and Gray
5. So, It Feels Like Misunderstanding When
6. All My Hopes and Dreams Turn In to
7. Affliction XXVII II MMIX

Patryk Zwolinski - Vocals
Mateusz Smierzchalski - Guitar + Bass ("II", "IV")
Marek Zielinski - Guitar + Soundscapes ("I", "III")
Piotr Kawalerowski - Bass
Konrad Ciesielski - Drums
Bartosz Hervy - Keys, Electronics

Devouring Weakness (2006)
Autoscopia/Murder in Phazes (2008)
Impulse (EP 2009)

Recorded in August 2010 by Kuba Mankowski and Jan Galbas at Sound Great
Promotion studio.
Electronics recorded at Room XII studio.
Mixed and produced in September 2010 by Kuba Mankowski, Mateusz Smierzchalski
and Bartosz Hervy at Sound Great Promotion studio.
Mastered by Kuba Mankowski.
Music by Blindead.
Story concept and lyrics by Patryk Zwolinski except "V" lyrics by Jakub
"IV" contains fragment of "The Road" book by Cormack McCarthy.
Art concept and artwork by Katarzyna Sójka.
Layout by Katarzyna Sójka and Bartosz Hervy.
Cover art was inspired by an anatomical foetus drawing created by Leonardo Da
Blindead uses samples from made by :
"I" + "VII" - robinhood76, "II" - digifishmusic, "IV" - noisecollector, shades,
rfhache, morgantij, miastodzwiekow, gynation, tomlija.

Contrabass in "I" by Bartek Reszetar.
Trumpet in "II" by Maciek Lubieniecki.
Additional vocals in "III" by Jan Galbas (Broken Betty).
Piano and additional keys in "IV" by Pawel Smakulski.

Released: 2011
Reviewed: 5/4-2011

mystic production

Ambitious and grand, complex and complicated are a few things that can be said about this band and their latest effort with a title that is quite annoying to write. It is the third release in the catalogue of Blindead, the first one I get my hands on. They are from Poland and is the brainchild of Mateusz Smierzchalski who is known as guitarist from the band Behemoth which is another band I have not heard but that does not really matter as now we have this album to take a closer look at.

Musically it is a diverse album with a very thick and layered musical landscape that mostly moves along in a doom metal kind of pace, sometimes it picks up a little and so but generally it is quite slow with this multi layered, some might call it deep, sound image. Another parable we could use is to say that it is a canvas that is painted with lots of colours and some of those colours are used a lot. But enough with the parables, it also mixes the subgenres of the metal thing with progressive, doom, some extreme and some regular rock and so on and so forth, there is a lot of diversity present in this album.

Yet, all this diversity does still lead to a musical image that sound too thick, there is just too much, it is not generally too complex but there is too much thrown into the mix and it ends up with the music getting stuck mainly in one position, unable to move forward and what this means mostly for me is that I find myself getting very sleepy, I actually had a very hard time writing the Swedish review while listening to the album, I was loosing the thread, falling asleep and generally had a hard time concentrating on what I was doing and it is the same when trying to focus on this music, you end up asleep.

I am not trying to write down this album, bash it or anything, I want to like this album as I generally like this sort of music and somewhere in all of this thick mud that is this album there is something more, something that could have been it feels like. This thing is, with this kind of music the line between success and failure, red and green, genius or idiot, is a very thin line that is so easy to cross over in the wrong direction and then have it all but still being unsuccessful and something along those lines is my feeling towards this album. I think it is there, almost, something is still missing and I think it is the directional element, this album is not moving, it does not want to get anywhere. You can also like it with a canvas on which you just keep adding more and more paint without really finishing and in the end the result is a think layer or paint but no real substance but then if you could peel away some of it, then there might be something there.

It is not really bad either, I just cannot put my finger on this album, it is eluding me but it is still understandable and quite easy to understand but I just cannot really pinpoint what I think about it and I have heard it lots of times, three today but still. I think the talent and skills are there and some parts are great, some not so great and most are just a thick layer of whatever slow flowing fluid you can think of.

I was trying to think of a favourite song but as the songs have no real definitive structure I found it hard to pinpoint one favourite, they all have their really good elements when I find Blindead just excellent but then it moves back to the regular of the album and then it is not as good anymore. The album is listenable but it is not really something I would spend my time listening to, there are better albums made in the same sort of area and I have a few of these and would most definitely select one of those before this one any day.

So, what do I really think? I don’t quite know for sure but the album feels to heavy to digest, it should have gone for a bit less of everything and looked for a way forwards at all times, now it feels slow and stagnating for large parts and even though the talent is clearly there, it does not get quite realised with this album. I therefore would leave my judgement to: Affliction XXIX II MXMVI - Almost.


Label - Mystic Production
Three similar bands - Mammutant/Alchemist/Cynic
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm