Blistered Earth - Blistered Earth
Self Financed
Heavy / Thrash Metal
14 songs (67'53)
Release year: 2004
Blistered Earth
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
"Destroy your perception of modern thrash"; a statement that's front and center on the promo sheet that was sent to me by guitarist Steve Fry of the Massachusetts U.S.A metal band Blistered Earth. It's a pretty bold statement but after listening to this CD, they just may be able to deliver on that promise. Formed in 1999 by Steve Fry (guitar), Graig Marseglia (drums) and Andy Lobas (bass), they recruited lead guitarist Alex Baldman and singer John Fadden to complete the line-up. Very quickly gaining a following with the local metal scene, they landed opening slots for such bands as Dimmu Borgir, Overkill, Raven, Seven Witches, Strapping Young Lad, Manowar, Cannibal Corpse, Shadows Fall and Opeth. Blistered Earth's brand of classic bay area thrash metal was a big hit and a 4 song demo was recorded. Vocalist John Fadden left the band in 2000 and with bassist Andy Lomas taking over lead vocal duties, a new 3 song demo was recorded called All Thrashed Up And Nowhere To Go. This demo was a big hit with fans of the band. One year later, lead guitarist Alex Baldman left the band and was replaced by Peter Rutcho. This proved to be a good move as Peter Rutcho brought his production experience to the band and in fact produced this full length debut that was recorded in the later part of 2003 and early 2004.

The Beginning Of The End opens the album with it's weird spacey effects before the opening riffs of Rusting The Soul come crashing through with the sort of breakneck, reckless abandon that really does bring back the spirit of the classic bay area thrash metal from the 80's. The chunky riffs and speedy style but with a more melodic Megadeth approach to the vocals is the norm here for most of the album. Leading The Strike uses a great mix of stuttering riffs and old school speed with a variety of tempo changes that brings both classic Metallica and Megadeth to mind. The highlight of this track is the quiet interlude mid-song that slowly builds with great expressive leads and thematic riffs to a stunning climax of melody and heaviness. A solid and very well arranged track, it shows a maturity not normally found with such a new band. Elements of the classic 80's metal sound (i.e. Priest and Accept) can be heard with tracks like Inside, Angels Die and the instrumental 1981. The later even using some trademark Iron Maiden dual lead guitar harmonies. A true nod to the 80's is delivered by their cover version of Priest's Electric Eye. Legends Of War continues with the stuttering and galloping style and has tons of huge monster riffs. Among The Legacy again uses the Megadeth style and is a great slice of thrash metal with some wild but very well executed instrumental breaks. Influences of other bands such as Testament and Sacrifice (a classic Canadian thrash band from the 80's) can be heard with Blistered Earth's sound and some of the more "groove" style riffs and "gang" style shouts bring Anthrax to mind. The production of this album for the most part, especially for a self-financed release, is awesome. The guitars are thick, heavy and explode out of your speakers and the speedy fast drumming is captured perfectly. The vocals could be a bit louder in the mix though as the chunky riffs and drums are much louder overall.

Andy Lobas has a decent voice and uses a Dave Mustaine / James Hetfield style of singing and even a bit of the classic NWOBHM style of the early 80's but he uses more aggressive styles in places and even some occasional death metal growls on several songs. After listening to and enjoying this album very much, the death metal vocals really are a sore spot for me here. For the most part, their use on several tracks is not warranted or even necessary. As far as I'm concerned, with tracks like Angels Die and Inside, the death style vocals ruins the flow of what would otherwise be outstanding tracks. I guess it may be an attempt to lure younger fans, especially death metal fans but from an old school thrash metal fan of many, many years, they are a bit out of place on a few tracks.

Blistered Earth is an amazing likeness to the classic thrash of the 80's with an energetic, tight and dynamic sound with tons of head banging riffs to "throw up the horns to". This band really kicks some serious ass and I must say that I haven't heard such great heavy/thrash metal in a very long time. So if you wonder what Metallica might have sounded like if they stayed on course with the sound of Master Of Puppets and And Justice For All, you just might find it with Blistered Earth. Blistered Earth has handled every aspect of this debut CD from the production by guitarist Peter Rutcho to the artwork and CD design by Steve Fry. I'm sure it won't be long before someone signs this band and gets their brand of metal out to the masses. As of now, their CD is available through their website and if your a thrash metal fan, definitely check these guys out. If thrash metal starts to make a comeback, it could be these guys "leading the strike"........

Killing Songs :
Leading The Strike, 1981, Legends Of War and Among The Legacy
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Blistered Earth that we have reviewed:
Blistered Earth - All Thrashed Up and Nowhere To Go reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:50 pm
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