Loudblast - Planet Pandemonium - 2004 - Boycott Records
1. Bow Down 2. The Serpent's Circle 3. Pain Brothers 4. Last Sabbath 5. The Descent 6. Mindless Mankind 7. Words Of Vanity 8. Scarlet Mist 9. Roaming In Between Worlds 10. Days In Black
Well, it's been six years since the French death metal vagabonds have been on the scene. With "Planet Pandemonium", Loudblast roar back with their sixth studio effort and first for new label Boycott Records. I've really missed these guys, keeping them on the top of my "missing in action" list through endless scans on the web. With their absence from the scene since 1998, I was unsure what their new sound would be like. Fortunately this band of death givers has stayed true to form, making this record one of the finest of the year.
For those of you unaware of the Loudblast style, go to your nearest importer and request their records. They play an unusual brand of death metal, keeping a thrash and slash playing field perfectly lined and allowing plenty of urban chaos to bleed through. The end result is a gravel pit of aggressive, bottom heavy guitar madness. The band is all about quick, speedy riffs and a huge, thick groove throughout. The group really isn't like any of today's death metal monsters, but they have managed to pick up today's loud production quality.
This album is simply bombastic in its delivery, with the drums sounding like something out of Andy Sneap's workshop. The guitars are just a manic frenzy of sound, recalling the finer moments of Floridian death metal, mixing in some over the top Swedish riffs while neatly wrapping itself in an urban hardcore sound barrier. Think of hardcore groups like Marauder, Hostility, and Rykers, and then mix it with a sludgy Morbid Angel or a tighter Unleashed. At times the group throws in some down tuned Sabbath grind, but for the most part this beats to a death metal drum.
If you love thinking man's death metal, then you will get a kick out of Loudblast. The same lineup has been intact since 1993, making the band a group of seasoned veterans. I've never understood why these guys haven't made it to the big leagues yet. Certainly someone like Century Media, Nuclear Blast, or Earache would be interested in the group. Sometimes the best things in life lie just below the surface though. Easily the best death metal album of the year!
Highlights - "Bow Down", "The Descent", "Mindless Mankind"
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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