Thessaloniki has been one of the hotbeds of creativity for Greece throughout the country’s long and rich history, giving the country some of its best composers, musicians and other creative artsy-types. The latest offering which is more suited to my ears is the six piece modern metal styled group Blackdrawn. Drawing heavily from the sounds of Scandinavia and incorporating it into the more modern sound of mainstream metal, the six piece who formed in 2012 are set to unleash their self titled debut album. Let’s crack on.
The first thing which stands out about this album is the focus on composition and melody. It has a heavy edge to it, delving into the depths of modern metal in the style of Lamb Of God, Avenged Sevenfold and late 90’s to early 2000’s Machine Head but it has that Scandinavian flair to it in way of In Flames, circa 2000-2006. The big use of groove works well too, giving the tracks a real pushing feel and some momentum whilst the pseudo-Scandinavian harmonies and synths do their bit to round out the appeal of the tracks.
The problem though is not much actually stands out on this album in terms of tracks. Whilst it is a solid sounding release which blends styles well, there isn’t that big song which stands head and shoulders above the rest. Tracks like “Breathin”, “Blackdrawn Skies” and “Death Mask” have some big punchy grooves to them with some great lead-work whilst “Hearts Turning To Black” and “Embracing Darkness” take a more melodic orientated approach, using cleaner vocals and emphasising more on instrument arrangement that heaviness. One thing of note though, the consistent proficiency of the guitarists and vocalist is prominent throughout the album and given how they are usually the main focus, it’s definitely a good sign.
Overall, “Blackdrawn” is a solid release. Its only weakness is that it doesn’t have that stand out moment, but what it lacks in something which makes it really stand out, it more than makes up for it with the musicianship on display, the brilliant composition and the fact that this band can only improve. Well worth a listen