Blame Zeus – Seethe
Release Date: 08/11/2019
Running Time: 45:37
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
Good afternoon, my children of the nether face of God. I am Dark Juan, and I bring you this epistle from the dark satanic mills of West Yorkshire, rather than the Brittany countryside. There were no more church altars to defile or virgins left. I’d worked through them all… Yes, I have returned to our sceptred isle of Great Britain permanently because rural France is boring. All those people in Blighty who thought they were safe from my tender ministrations should now be quietly crapping themselves because I have returned with vengeance on my mind, murder in my heart and a total lack of beer to mitigate any bad temper. In other news, there are probably a whole lot of other people fearing my return for other reasons – like workmates who will soon be being subjected to my rapid, unintelligible and insane gabbling due to acute caffeine sensitivity and a requirement for a LOT of coffee when working 48 hour shifts. I am also writing my memoirs. Ex-girlfriends and shitbags who have done me wrong – quake in your metaphorical boots, you set of twats!
Ah, the blessed relief of a good and satisfying rant.
I’ll be honest here, I chose to review this Portuguese prog metal band named Blame Zeus simply because “Blame Zeus!” is a familiar and tediously repetitive refrain in Dark Juan Towers (excuse me, it’s Dark Juan Terrace now!) when looking at a severely depleted bank balance. Normally when Sir Zeusington Zeus VC, DFC and Bar, Croix de Guerre, MM, KCVG has cost us another £80 to get medicine to get him to shit out whatever inedible object he has ingested this time. This is something that happens frequently. Which leads us clumsily into a segue deciding whether Blame Zeus are shit or not. I’m good at this writing lark, me.
This album is named “Seethe”. Opening song “How To Successfully Implode” was not what I was expecting when reading the blurb I got with the album. I was expecting sub-grade Lacuna Coil copyism with added twiddly bits. What I actually got was a fucking kick-ass heavy metal track from an instantly likeable band. I’m always suspicious of a band that labels themselves progressive, because prog done right is absolutely magical. Prog done wrong is a bunch of musicians disappearing rapidly up their own arses playing freeform jazz solos on eight string guitars WHILE SOME PIXIE WAILS ABOUT FUCKING FAIRIES AND TROLLS AND OTHER FANTASY SHIT AND THE DRUMMER IS PLAYING 5/4 TIME! Pardon me and my shouting, I am writing this review sober. This is a rare occurrence.
Vocalist Sandra Oliveira is excellent throughout the record. She is a barrel lunged chanteuse who is best described as a combination of Cristina Scabbia with more vocal control and the much loved (in Dark Juan’s twisted black gutter of a soul, anyway) Helen Vogt of the late and lamented Flowing Tears, and the band’s command of English is actually superb. It is relevant to note this because I now know at first hand just how difficult it is to communicate in another language, let alone compose and create in one. Bonus marks for intelligence…
Blame Zeus’ music is difficult to describe accurately. I wouldn’t say its progressive metal. I’d say its heavy metal with progressive elements. The riffs are meaty and satisfying, the production quality very good (if bass heavy, my poor headphones were buzzing like a swarm of seriously perturbed hornets on more than one occasion – I think the producer of the record is possibly a devotee of Phil Spector’s wall of sound) with generally excellent clarity apart from the previously mentioned overwhelming of my cans, and the musical arrangements inventive – and this is where the progressive elements part of my description comes in – in the middle eight of the song, or in the intro and start of a song is where you’ll find the most progressive sounds. Apart from ‘The Warden’. This song could be off any Tool album in the “Aenemia, Lateralus” and “10,000 Days” era. Luckily, these are splendid benchmarks to be judged against, so please do not count this as a demerit. ‘The Crown And The Gun’ has an extremely unusual start where it sounds like a bizarre three way musical coupling of Muse, Tool and Alice In Chains before the guitars kick in and lay you out with a hobnailed boot to the solar plexus. The solo on this tune is extremely prog though – all Eastern sounding before Sandra launches into ethereal wailing with lashings of reverb, chorus and echo before the song is dragged kicking and screaming back into the glorious light of metal and reminded what it actually is, which is a fucking heavy metal song and its only reason for existence is to be spectacularly violent and to cause ears to bleed. Which it did!
I like Blame Zeus. They were a fortuitous choice to review. Highlights are the opening song, which is an absolute heavy fucking metal triumph, ‘Down To Our Bones’ which has some excellent interplay between male and female vocals and ‘The Crown And The Gun’ which I believe represents EXACTLY what Blame Zeus are aiming for. I want to hear a lot more. I love Sandra’s voice, which is operatic without being overpowering, the music because it is after all heavy metal with added intelligence and the band sounding like they are enjoying themselves. There is far too much totally po-faced prog metal that causes this hellpriest to imagine the band spending hours discussing how to synocapte the drums in the most obscure time signature possible whilst sipping green tea and complaining that seven notes are simply not enough, before crapping out some 22 minute “song” about the siege of the Elven Kingdom of Walpurgia by the Orken Hordes of Shitbaggium. Anyway, Blame Zeus are good. If you like bands like Tool, Visions Of Atlantis, Flowing Tears and the like, then you will like them too. That was a deliberate attempt to see how many grammatically correct “likes” I could fit into a single sentence. You should buy their records. Do it. Do it NOW.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System would have done this bit in Portuguese, but doesn’t have Google Translate as we are currently sans internet (maybe the mighty beast of metal that is Victor Augusto of Ever Metal fame will be able to assist!) awards Blame Zeus a thoroughly disreputable 8/10 for an hell of an enjoyable record.
01. How To Successfully Implode
02. Déjà Vu
03. Down To Our Bones
05. Bloodstained Hands
06. The Obsession Lullaby
07. Into The Womb
09. The Warden
10. The Crown And The Gun
Sandra Oliveira – Voice
Ricardo Silveira – Drums
Paulo Silva – Guitar
Tiago Lascasas – Guitar
Celso Oliveira – Bass
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.