Blackshine - _Lifeblood_
(Dockyard 1, 2006)
by: Yiannis Stefanis (7 out of 10)
Rock 'n' roll elements in metal music are certainly not an innovation. This style of music, which was first presented in its rawest form by Motorhead back in the '70s and became increasingly fashionable in the mid '90s, especially in the Swedish metal scene after the release of Entombed's 1993 opus _Wolverine Blues_, is more alive and inspiring than ever.

If you need proof of the above argument, you should check out the Stockholm-based quartet Blackshine, whose music indeed bears the influence not only of the forefathers of Swedish death metal Entombed, but also such diverse acts as Grip Inc and Monster Magnet -- and they have just released their third studio album, entitled _Lifeblood_.

I am completely vulnerable to good rhythmic groovy-sounding riffs and good quality melodies, and these are exactly the main attributes that you should expect to find in _Lifeblood_. The band's origins can be clearly defined through their very characteristic guitar sound, but the elements that they have decided to add to their musical foundations span both sides of the Atlantic.

Consisting of eleven compositions, and having a total duration of thirty-nine minutes, _Lifeblood_ is an album whose effect should be fast and decisive. That is indeed achieved, but not throughout. The thrashing rhythmical riff of the opening track "Cure in the Shape of Noise" is indeed the best introduction to this album, and a clear proof of the album's diversity, blending together the groovy riff attitude of Monster Magnet with the immense power of Grip Inc. The dynamics of the album are also quite varied, with fast-paced songs like the title track sharing the same space with the more rhythmical / atmospheric compositions such as "Born a Denier" and "Burn the World" -- both of which are, in my opinion, the most impressive compositions on the album. In addition, one should definitely check out the punky bass tunes of "Unbroken" and the main opening riff in "Powerghoul", which carries a scent of old Mercyful Fate in it.

I would not be surprised if _Lifeblood_ was voted the album with the worst cover artwork for 2006, but musically speaking it is quite enjoyable. If you are in the right mood, you will find it very difficult to avoid headbanging to its catchy riffs and inspiring melodies, but even if you are not in that specific mood, you will still appreciate it as an easily listenable and pleasant release.


(article published 18/1/2007)

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