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Released: 1998, Metal/XIII Bis Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Loudblast? Loudblast??? Who are they? Well let me tell you! Loudblast hails from France and have been around in the metal scene for around twelve years now. Back in ’87 they released a split LP with the band Agressor called Licensed to Thrash. Loudblast recorded four songs of classic European thrash for this LP. They Subsequently changed their style to death metal and in ’89 released their Sensorial Treatment promotional tape which contained four classic death metal songs. (Both these recordings were recently re-issued together on CD by XIII Bis Records). Loudblast apparently caught the attention of Century Media Records, who decided to have the band record three songs for their compilation entitled In the Eyes of Death, which was released in ’91 and also featured Unleashed, Asphyx, Morgoth, Tiamat, and Grave. The three Loudblast songs were classic death metal and showed a progression in song writing ability from previous material. In the same year, Loudblast released their debut death metal classic Disincarnate through Semetary Records. In ’93 they released their second album Sublime Dementia on Semetary/Futurist/Noise. This album is a death metal masterpiece and every death metal fan must check it out! The vocals are more varied, and the guitar riffs, leads, and drum work are phenomenal. Then In ’94 they released an EP called Cross the Threshold, again on Semetary, which resembles Sublime Dementia but shows even more progression and hints at what is to come in the future. Then they made appearance on the ’95 German Century Media compilation Bloodlines with the exclusive song "This Dazzling Abyss". The compilation also features the unreleased Nevermore track "System’s Failing"! In the same year Loudblast released an awesome live album called The Time Keeper, on Wotre Music, which contains material from both albums and EP, with a total of 17 tracks! And it sounds amazing! Then they were quiet for a while…
1998 marked the return of Loudblast with their third album Fragments. They have basically moved completely away from death metal with this one. The music is still very heavy, but not as complex and punishing as earlier material. It resembles thrashy power metal, almost sounding like a cross between My Dying Bride’s Like Gods of the Sun and Atrocity’s Blut. But the album is unlike anything else out there, due to Loudblast’s distinct style. And although the vocals have been cleaned up a little, Stephane Buriez’s vocals are very powerful, and the album showcases his best vocal performance so far. Fragments is also one of the best sounding albums I’ve ever heard! It is very dynamic and every instrument can be heard clearly.
Loudblast are definitely an underrated band. I had an extremely hard time finding their CDs but thanks to a great Metal friend in France, I now have all six discs. So if you come across any Loudblast CDs, check them out while you have the chance! I am sure Euorpeans will have an easier time finding their material. In the Eyes of Death (a great classic death metal compilation) and Bloodlines (necessary for the exclusive Loudblast and Nevermore tracks) should still be available through Century Media’s mail order. I will also mention that Fragments was released in digipak form, but it is apparently limited edition. There are no bonus tracks that I know of.
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