Blind Horizon - The Parallax Theory
Spider Rock Promotion
Melodic Death Metal
8 songs (53:00)
Release year: 2010
Spider Rock
Reviewed by Cory

To call Blind Horizon’s The Parallax Theory melodic death metal is to stretch the term to its broadest possible sense. Yet after checking out different sources and reviews of the album that seems to be the general consensus, probably because it is hard to define this brash and disjointed album as anything else. Not truly death metal, nor black metal, or any other readily available genre, I suppose in the end melo-death is the easiest one to fall back on, hence the tag placed on these Italians. In essence what is on display here is an unrefined, guttural, and uncompromising slab of technical sludge covered in your standard growls and grunts with the occasional semi-clean vocal thrown in as a curve ball. Each song, with the exception of I Am Your God, prefers to pummel you senseless with harsh riffs and scattered moments of technical wanderings rather than the melodic hooks or vocal melodies that the genre’s more prominent members bring to mind. In this manner I believe Blind Horizon separate themselves from the mold and present an intriguing case: their music will dissuade many on first listen due to a lack of immediately compelling material, yet those that persevere and dig deeper might just find a gem lurking within the coal.

Luca Fois, guitarist and principal song writer for the band, places the majority of his focus into the compositional side of the house. Opener Sex on the Phone (an odd title if there ever was one), begins with a pretty basic riff that does not leave much of an impression. Yet as the song evolves and develops over time, especially towards its final third, the music separates into individual entities, with each instrument developing a notable personality that, while not melodic, is compelling and enjoyable. Throughout the album, this seems to be a theme and, I think, the goal of Luca. Not to write sugar coated riffs that lead you along by the nose, but rather to create complex dynamics that require your full attention for the duration of the song and willingness to dissect in order to reach that appreciation. I Am Your God is the most accessible song on the album and the one where those tagging this as melodic death metal can hang their hats. It contains a melodic riff, a dynamic structure, and a decent chorus that all work into your brain until the instruments diverge into different patterns before re-converging and bringing things to a kick ass close. Special attention should be given to the bass work here, which really achieves an identity separate from the rest and gives that added flavor. Vocally speaking, there is a stark contrast in the death vocals that begin the song and the somewhat clean vocals that end it. Again, not immediately something to latch onto but nor are they average. In truth I could go on about each song in this way but for the sake of time (and your attention) I will stick with the basics. A Trip For You, Parallax, and All Soul’s Song are damn good tunes that follow the same general formula. Shadowman is the longest at nearly 10 minutes, and my personal favorite. I Deify You and White Echoes are both decent tunes, but join Sex on the Phone as the least interesting of the bunch. The band as a whole sounds very tight and talented, especially when given the opportunity to shine individually, yet I think in the future a cleaner production might lend more weight to the album, as this one comes off flat at times. Being a debut, that is not surprising and should not be weighed heavily against Luca and company, just a small criticism.

The Parallax Theory is probably one of the harder album’s I have reviewed, and certainly has taken the most listens to establish just how I feel about it. The very definition of a grower, I had to dig through the layers to finally come to an understanding of what is on display, and once I did I felt it worth the effort. Those that prefer their metal to be delivered up front and without pretense should probably pass this by, as should those that require a sense of melody and a good hook to hold their attention. Yet if you are willing to spend the time needed, I think you will find the risk to be worth the reward. Blind Horizon is one of the more intriguing band’s I have listened to lately, and the potential for an excellent album in their future will keep me at the table.

Killing Songs :
I Am Your God, A Trip For You, Parallax, All Soul's Song, and Shadowman
Cory quoted 76 / 100
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