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Blynd - "Liber Sum" (CD)

Blynd - "Liber Sum" CD cover image

"Liber Sum" track listing:

1. Bread and Circuses
2. Phobos
3. Barbarians
4. Aes Cyprium
5. In the Epicenter
6. Under High Seas (A Prelude to the King)
7. Liber Sum
8. Al-Kimiya
9. Invictus
10. The Kingdom Within

Reviewed by on February 17, 2016

"There's a very satisfying blend of death metal, melody, and thrash here across the band's third full-length album."

Following the “Punishment Unfolds” album from back in 2012, Blynd continues collaborating with Pitch Black Records for the band's overall third studio album “Liber Sum.” Considering the years that have passed between then and now, it's no surprise this album show a clear progression in sound and goes to a different place than the previous release.

There's a good base of melodic death metal tempered by some thrashy guitar work, but the melodic flourishes this time around make up a bigger component. The album opens unexpectedly with ethereal female vocals, and the booming symphonic sound throughout the disc will work for fans of Fleshgod Apocalypse. Vocally, the delivery of the lyrics has also changed, with a deeper timbre and wider range on the harsh vocals.

Second track “Phobos” is dominated by the symphonic death metal sound, while “Barbarians” is much more focused on the thrash end with guitar soloing front and center. Much of the album follows that pattern of moving back and forth between those two ideas, with mid-way track “In The Epicenter” also adding in some interesting transitions and stylistic changes that add just a hint of a progressive edge. Breaking from the first half to the second half, the instrumental interlude “Under High Seas” is based around string instruments and brings out an emotional punch, landing somewhere between epic film score music and an Anathema track.

From there it's back to business as usual, and actually by “Invictus” the formula feels a little stale, as the track is too similar to previous songs, with the exception for the brief creepy outro. The deep, croaked clean vocals on the final track are also an unfortunate low note, but when they go away the movie voiceover segment played over soaring instrumentation works really well in wrapping up the disc.

There are times I wish the production was more crisp and surgically clean, although others will likely see that as a positive rather than a negative in the backlash against hyper-produced albums. That issue aside and the few missteps at the end, “Liber Sum” is really well-rounded and manages to be symphonic without giving up any heaviness. There's a very satisfying blend of death metal, melody, and thrash here across the band's third full-length album.

Highs: Great blend of thrash, melodic death, and symphonic metal.

Lows: The ending tracks have some unfortunate missteps, and the production could be cleaner.

Bottom line: Blynd progresses towards an even better mix of melodic death, thrash, and symphonic elements with this third album.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)