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Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: The Bendal Interlude - Reign Of The Unblinking Eye


The Bendal Interlude were, to be fair, a band that has totally escaped my attention until lately. The guys from Liverpool have been on the road and albums since 2007 with EP’s and one full-size album called Foal Recordings. Not much has been really put out before this new album just in the pipeline called Reign of the Unblinking Eye. The production on this album, however, is very good. For the rest, this album just kicks some serious metal butt all in all. The brilliant combination of groove-metal, hardcore and swinging riffs is brilliant.

Southern metal is a pretty weird and overlooked nook in the metal scene, by my knowledge pretty much only made really popular by the American band Every Time I Die. You could perhaps put Volbeat under this genre as well but that’s probably a different discussion. The reason I really, really liked this band and album is that they stay as far away as possible from all that. Where Every Time I Die has progressed more and more from a hardcore base to things that are catchier and maybe have a more poppy, punk, happy sound, The Bendal Interlude is just rinsing through all that with brutally honest, pissed-off music. Influences of the British hardcore scene are definitely there but what perhaps is the most obvious driving force is the dirty, big, fat, bassy sound of the guitars. It’s just such a brutal sound while definitely keeping the melody alive which lightens the music. Then off you go again in a brutal breakdown driven by the bass and blowing your brains out. It’s a far stretch from Every Time I Die’s fast and jumpy sound that may be suited to tear down a stage as well, But the sheer force and gravity on the album Reign of the Unblinking Eye makes one think how this band would do live, and if the building will structurally be up to it. All this is contained within a pretty awesome production that leaves room for the dirtiness, the filthiness of the overall sound while not making it too muddled. The melodic riffs are not devices to give the music somewhat of a lighter mood but fit in perfectly with the heavy low-tuned riffs. Some songs definitely remind me of Evelyn, a song by Volbeat’s Beyond Hell/Above Heaven where this band shows their death metal roots for once. That song has some weird, non-fitting, very Volbeat chorus, where The Bendal Interlude just pummels on through and doesn’t let go for one second.

This album is definitely a recommendation for everybody who is interested in something way heavier than Volbeat, and filthier than Every Time I Die. I call these two bands out, But The Bendal Interlude is its very own beast, and I am very curious to see what they will do next. I will be following them close from now on; they have turned me onto them with just two songs listened to the album. That will grow to be many more, very soon!

Written by Frank van Drunen

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