Starblind - 'Darkest Horrors' (Stormspell Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Matt Phelps   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 04:00

starblinddarkestcoverCheck out Starblind's Facebook page and you'll see their interests are "Heavy Metal, Beer and Whiskey". Look further and the bands they admire most are "Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Manowar". A little more fact finding on the Starblind front tells us these guys are from Stockholm, Sweden. Could this get any better? Maiden fans from Sweden who drink beer while belting out classic metal! Seriously, what's not to like? I loved them before I'd even heard a note!


But since Starblind formed a little over a year ago in May 2013 I will admit to initially suspecting that these Swedish geezers couldn't really have come up with much in such a short time together. But as track one, 'Ascendancy', powered up I soon realised that my suspicion had been ill judged. In fact it became clear quite quickly that this band could be something quite special. Speed and melody crash head on into each other and the powerful union that had burst into life with 'Ascendancy' continues straight into the next track, 'Blood In The Night'. With a solid riff beating heavy at the heart of the song this pounding track also acts as a something of a showcase for frontman Mike Stark's impressive vocals. The guy has a tremendous range, at times hitting the high notes like a Metal God 'Screaming For Vengeance'.


But it's on tracks like 'The Great Hunt', which sees the band touching on early Mercyful Fate ground, that Starblind really excel. The heavy guitar work here from Rosenblad and Jonasson could capably stand up with that of Shermann and Denner and I don't say that lightly. 'I Stand Alone' is another that gets the traditional juices flowing with some six string wizardry rolling out an eighties style fretboard fanfare that heralds in a new era of classic style metal. Starblind even describe themselves as being part of a "New Wave Of Classic Heavy Metal" and I can't find one thing on 'Darkest Horrors' that could be used to argue against that claim. 'The Reckoning' proves this hands down by getting those Maiden influences fired up big time with the dual guitars of Bjorn Rosenblad and Johan Jonasson trading licks like lesbian lovers over the top of a galloping bassline. Gotta love that!


With Starblind having recorded these songs live in the studio you get a real in-your-face vibe throughout that is steeped with old school power. The arrangements the band have perfected together combined with the production style they've gone for on the sound also elevates this material way above the one dimensional modern metal dirge many other bands are churning out these days. 'Darkest Horrors' really is a quality album, a great album, an album for all fans of proper heavy metal because although there's only nine tracks here they each pack their own spectacular punch with both style and splendour. What Starblind have achieved as a band just over a year into their existence is pretty phenomenal and I can't fault any of it.


To pick up your copy of 'Darkest Horrors' - CLICK HERE