Blissful Stream – ‘When The Wolves Start To Circle’   Leave a comment

Blissful Stream now present their long-awaited album, ‘When The Wolves Start To Circle’. Eight tracks of soulful crossover metal, blended with black, punk, death and gothic rock, inspired by dark folk legends.

For those who struggle through the darkness of life’s realities and need the anchor such powerful metal provides, this album returns to the essence of early metal and rock, with all the catchy simplicity inherent. In contrast to Martin Sallstrom’s 2016 debut EP, ‘Ascending Demons’ and his previous black metal project, Pest, BS swings to the opposite, more contemplative style.

Following on from 2017’s ‘Devils Night To All Souls’ split EP, with Sweden’s Lightsabres and 2018’s ‘Dead Religious’, both successful, in their own right, ‘WTWSTC’ moves into altogether different, more enrapturing territory. It’s due for release on Valentine’s Day 2020, digitally and on limited-edition audio cassette and CD.

Music and layout by M.S.
Recorded and mixed at Studio Sinnesfrid.
Mastered at Audiosiege, by Brad Boatright.
Logo designed by Magnus Ohrn, at 6hirts 6f 6atan.

We See The Light – Straight in there, with a very Motorhead-esque intro! That’s got the catch and the rock, from the start. Definitely more shouty than vocally melodic, but the accompaniments compensate. Short, but very hooky and very engaging.

When The Wolves Start To Circle – Great zesty riffage opens. Getting right into a catchy chorus, with a mystical quality. Intriguing echoed lyrics. Blending well with the accompaniments. A clear soulful edge, with bluesy flavour. That’s one infectious riff. Expertly delivered. Very much centred around that riff, it just works.

Sow The Seeds Of Discontent – Bass line opening, along a perfected continuum. A slower, looser rhythm, with a trad melody and a sinister aura. Steadily taking its time to grind the message out, it’s a dark track, with a basic back beat. Well structured, retaining its mystery, throughout, it’s consistent and ominous.

Covenant Of Decay – Good sharp riff intro, slightly faster, but similar, in construction. Not in any rush, it glides, smoothly along. Again, very dark, trapping the blackened atmosphere within its structure. Carefully executed, there’s a steel within it and a deadened tone, edging towards Nick Cave arenas. Gravehuffer fans’ll get off on this. Very visual material, evoking graveyard imagery, ending on more thoughtfully plucked notes.

Once Alive – Heating things back up again now, this takes it back to Motorhead-esque realms, if slightly darker. More bounce and freedom to the riffs, even amongst those creepy lyrics. Strongly atmospheric, it’s a track that transports you to the scene of the crime, as it were. Sliding into the outro.

Old Wounds – Another bass intro, deep, long and sensual. Once more, that Nick Cave sense returns to the vocals. This is one to relax with, in a darkened room. An ambient thread almost edges it towards relaxation music, if not for the black themes. Not going anywhere fast, that steady tempo stays, inviting you into its lair.

War Of The Righteous – Higher vibe to that opening riff, echoing through the darkness. Here, the light’s in a constant battle, to shine through the darkness. It’s equal parts light and dark, with some good slide melodies, growing stronger, as it continues.

City Of Dead Souls – Faster paced intro, with a little cymbal action and a slightly stronger drum presence, but still very much riff and vocal led. Plucky spin on the riffs, from the second bar and some sexy fret-bending going on. Towards the end, the accompaniments just take a very slight step back, as the vocals come forward, a bit, before returning to form. Something of a stoner essence, but generally, staying true to form. Baleful Creed fans of ‘The Killing’ may relate to the echoes of ‘Forgiven’.

Overall – A very competently, skilfully handled album, with consistent rhythms, featuring various twists and turns and a presiding blues-edged smoothness, etched into the inherent darkness. Well worth a spin.

9/10 *********

For fans of Gravehuffer, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Baleful Creed, Motorhead.

Posted January 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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