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Blatant Disarray - "Everyone Dies Alone" (CD)

Blatant Disarray - "Everyone Dies Alone" CD cover image

"Everyone Dies Alone" track listing:

1. Undetermined
2. Down & Out
3. Question
4. End
5. Faithless
6. Pathetic
7. A Righteous Rant
8. Eye Fortune
9. Hourglass
10. Everyone Dies Alone
11. Nine Days Wonder
12. Number One Disaster
13. Manipulation

Reviewed by on November 16, 2010

"It has, in my opinion, a near perfect blend of power, aggression, and finesse, a trait missing in many metal releases I have bought over the past few years"

The music industry has been looking for a group with the intestinal fortitude to take up the torch once held by Bay Area legends Metallica for years. As a result, record companies and business execs have shamelessly heralded this band and that band as the next big “M.” But alas, most of their hand-picked new age icons fell short of their and, more importantly, our expectations. Then along came Blatant Disarray.

Now who knows if these Raleigh, North Carolina metallers are the next Metallica. What we do know is that Blatant Disarray is one hell of a primal force to be reckoned with. What you won’t find on this CD is regurgitated riffs from “Master of Puppets,” or “And Justice...” What you will get, however, is pure unadulterated thrash metal that combines equal parts of Testament, Shadows Fall, and yes, Metallica.

From the opening track “Undetermined,” which is a great thrash throwback that conjures images of Testament, to the powerful mid tempo “Everyone Dies Alone,” this disc grabs your attention and never lets you go. Now to be honest, I think the main thing that reminds me of Testament with this act is singer/rhythm guitarist Mike Schaefer’s uncanny vocal resemblance to Chuck Billy, and a couple of riffs on the disc that were reminiscent of “The Ritual”-era. All in all, this band has its own sound, which allows this release to stand on its own merit, and not have to fall back on who they possibly do or do not sonically resemble to sell units.

The dual guitar delivery of Schaefer and lead guitarist Ryan Johnson on this record is incredible. It has, in my opinion, a near perfect blend of power, aggression, and finesse, a trait missing in many metal releases I have bought over the past few years. Bands tend to either be really heavy and technically empty, have a high level of technical proficiency and absolutely no feeling, or be technically superior and very hook oriented, but have no power and aggression to their music. I like bands that offer a little bit of everything with their songwriting and playing, as opposed to bands that are virtuoso level at only one or two of those points.

My only complaint about this album is the production. In several spots, the sound of the guitarists fingers sliding across their instrument's strings is at times as loud as the riff being played itself. Although this is very common and acceptable when recording and listening to clean guitar passages, it is not as common when listening to heavily distorted ones. Now taking into account not everyone is as picky about these types of small detail as I am, this may not matter to the masses, but myself being very anal about the sonic integrity of recordings, I did find this a tad disheartening in what I otherwise consider to be a great album.

Small sonic imperfections aside, I still feel this band's album would be a pleasant addition to any self respecting thrash metal fan's CD collection. No, “Everyone Dies Alone” doesn’t sound just like Metallica, but then again, Metallica doesn’t sound just like Metallica anymore either. What they do sound like is the best damn Blatant Disarray that they can, and trust me, that’s a good thing.

Highs: It is an extremely well-balanced thrash album.

Lows: I can hear the guitarists fingers sliding along the strings during some of the metal riffing.

Bottom line: Blatant Disarray is definitely a formidable metal force to be reckoned with. This is a band who could quite possibly rise to the top of the thrash metal heap.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

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)