July 16, 2006

CD Review: Bludgeon - World Controlled

How can you go wrong with a band called Bludgeon? Well, I'm sure you could, but I am also sure that you will know exactly what you're in for. The name means, from Dictionary.com, 1. To hit with or as if with a heavy club. 2. To overcome by or as if by using a heavy club. Sounds like a fitting description of the music that has been pressed onto this shiny disk.

They are billed as a death/thrash metal band, but they strike me as having a more hardcore oriented sound. But what do I know? I'm horrible when it comes to all of the different genres, I don't think my definitions jibe with the majority of fans, but in the end it is the music that matters. Sorry for that, back to Bludgeon.

As soon as the jackhammer of drums and guitars hit to start "Carnage Begins," I knew I was going to be hooked. It didn't matter how the rest of World Controlled played out, I knew I was going to like this. I didn't care what the lyrics were, I didn't care what the vocals sounded like, the music was enough to grab me by the throat and keep me at attention.

I don't even know if I can call this original, but I was completely enthralled by the sheer heaviness that they have. To be honest, I don't like the vocals. It's not that they are bad, per se, but he is just another in a long line of screamers. The voice doesn't stand out, and when focused upon strikes me as a little bland. However, it does add to the overall sound, and it has grown on me the more I listen. That may sound contradictory, but let me continue.

I have found that a lot of this style of music can be adrenaline pumping, aggressively charged, fist in the air heavy, but without vocals it will lose something, as the instruments and the music they are churning out are intended to work in combination with the vocalist. If the vocalist is removed from the equation, there is less of a reason to get into the music.

World Controlled is 37 minutes of fine tuned, tightly wound aggression. This is not my favorite album, Bludgeon is not my favorite band, and this probably will never creep to the top of my favorites, but there is something absolutely addictive about it. I'll tell you what it is, it's the combination of drums and guitars whose sole purpose is to bludgeon (hehe) the listener into submission.

From the first notes of "Carnage Begins" through to the close of "Save Your Servant" is mind blowingly heavy riffing. Clipped rhythms, precise drums combine to create this wall of heavy that I find incredibly attractive, it makes me want to jump in the pit and create a little mayhem of my own design.

The responsible parties that we have to thank for this crushing wall are drummer Ryan Blazek, guitarist Carlos Alvarez, guitarist/vocalist Mark Duca, and bassist Chris Studtmann. They act like finely tuned demolition equipment, pulverizing any ear drum that gets in their way.

Bottomline. Bludgeon is definitely a band to listen to when you want to work out some anger, or just work out. It will get the blood pumping. Put it on, press play, put your fist in the air, and enjoy.

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