United Mind Club - World Blood History (2012) - Definitely a unique listening experience - 98% (03/02/13)
Even after a dozen spins of the full length debut “World Blood History” of the Russian band United Mind Club, I still don’t have a clear idea what this is all about. In my humble opinion, it's a very good sign when a band has a completely unique sound and doesn’t sound like much else. This is also the case for this band that is labelled as progressive thrash metal. Well, I’m not even sure if this is thrash metal but it’s progressive for sure. Just take a look on the cover artwork and you might get an idea of what you can expect. It’s dark, it’s overwhelming, it’s strange but, all in all, very intriguing. If you think about progressive thrash metal, you might have a band like Voivod in mind. The two bands have nothing and a lot in common at the same time as both are experimental, unconventional, and completely unpredictable.
The band employs many electronic elements that could play on an any avant-garde disco night but these parts also add some atmosphere and depth to the release. These sounds are atmospheric and danceable at the same time and distinguish the band from other progressive metal bands. The guitar work is more than just solid and includes many great riffs without being too dominating. Sometimes these riffs are melodic and hold in a mid tempo pace, but there are also more epic and slow passages or even a few brutal upbeat moments. Melodic melodies and distorted sounds can be found on an almost equal level in the entire record. The rhythm section follows these patterns of diversity in a coherent manner. The vocals are sometimes simplistic and almost spoken in a very bleak and crazy way, sometimes we have more energizing harsh vocals that can though not be described as exreme metal performances and are probably closer to a certain form of industrial or modern thrash metal. Sometimes, the vocals are also distorted and transformed by effects which adds a very dystopian touch to the release.
It’s really hard to point out any songs. Apart of the short opener “When You Were Still Alive” that could also come from the darkwave and ambient project Senmuth, all seven songs are rather diversified and need their time to grow. The incredible “B.B.B.P.” includes for example oriental folk influences and tons of longing guitar riffs you won’t forget all too soon.
Many tracks include excellent hooks such as the masterpiece “Jaguar”. This kind of song is just pure brilliance according to my ears. The track starts with some electronic experiments and adds a few simplistic industrial metal riffs before very expressively whispered and spoken vocals with a huge accent kick in that are sometimes distorted with strange effects. The robotic but thanks to the keyboards almost angelic chorus is weird as nothing else but increadibly catchy. Epic background choirs add a majestic touch to this track.
Now you can see how hard this band is to describe and I only talked about the first half of one single track in detail. As another highlight or hint for you to get what this band might be about, I would also like to cite the album closer “World Blood Of History” as this song stands for the high amount of imagination of this unqiue band. This track is hard to digest at first try but it will get better and catchier and you still have tons of details to detect after a handful of spins.
This record is diversified, for some maybe even chaotic but I can hear a clear guiding line in all this madness and each time I listen to this album I am fascinated once again and it even grows on and on. This band is surely one of the most interesting ones I’ve discovered in the last few weeks, months or even years. If you want to expand your metal horizons, you have to check them out without the glimpse of a doubt. As this band proves to be courageous and manages to mix incredibly complex structures with something one can nonetheless call catchy or gripping, I try to be courageous as well and give this band a quite elevated rating for their debut record. I’m aware of the fact that either you love or hate these guys. Chose your camp but please do check them out and make up your mind about these crazy Russians.« Pieta (2012) - The surreal ending is a letdown for the cold realism of this dark drama - 7/10 (03/02/13)Screaming Savior - un groupe de métal chinois qui s'attaque aux côtes nord-américaines ce printemps! »
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