Thursday, July 7

Snowblind - Prisoners on Planet Earth

Snowblind
Prisoners on Planet Earth
2011


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Perhaps the first thing most metalheads will notice about this band is the name: Snowblind. This can mean a number of things, but I am pretty certain that it is used here in tribute to Black Sabbath. Plodding, repetitive metal, then, is the order of the day. However, Snowblind's latest record, "Prisoners on Planet Earth," seems to be lacking something that made Sabbath's early albums so brilliant - the sort of creative "spark" that has allowed Sabbath's works to stand strong throughout the forty years of evolution that have taken place since. Any given song from "Prisoners," is reasonably good if taken by itself, but none are memorable, and herein lies the problem.

Instrumentally, there is nothing overly spectacular here. The drums and bass plod along at a mid-paced rock groove for the entirety of the album, not doing anything wrong, but generally failing to do anything interesting. The guitar work is a bit more interesting, as there are a number of interesting riffs and solos throughout the album. I don't generally pay much attention to solos, but there were a few in here that caught my attention (see "In the Name of God," "Life and Death," or the Manowar-tinged "Macedonia"). Unfortunately, the guitar work, however interesting it may be at a given point, seems to suffer from the same problem as the rhythm section: ideas are repeated throughout the album to such a degree that they lose their appeal by the end of the listen. The riffs here are generally good, but they are far too similar to each other to be memorable.

"Prisoners on Planet Earth" also suffers to some degree from the vocals, or more specifically, the vocals in conjunction with the production. The singing isn't horrible, but neither is it very good; the singer has a limited range and occasionally has trouble staying on-key, but overall he puts on a decent performance. However, the poor production has relegated him to the background, with plenty of reverb but little punch, wrecking what would have been a serviceable, if unspectacular, vocal performance.

When I listen to "Prisoners on Planet Earth," my mind keeps coming back to one word: "unspectacular." This doesn't mean it's bad - in fact, if you are looking for some simple, catchy metal with a bit of fun guitar work, I would recommend that you check out a couple songs from "Prisoners." The problem is, it doesn't matter which ones.

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Morpheus's Rating: 1.75/5

5 comments:

The Protagonist said...

I love that you imply that Black Sabbath is plodding and repetitive. I feel much the same way. Now Dagg is going to attack me. :D

Dagg said...

you guys know me too well, I was already preparing an attack when you called Vol 4 era Sabbath repetitive.

Morpheus said...

Four points:

1) "Vol. 4" is not as repetitive as earlier Sabbath material - I was mostly referring to their first 3 albums.

2) By "repetitive," I mean that Sabbath keeps coming back to the same riffs - they may have a number of riffs in a given song, but they end up repeating them quite a bit.

3) This is not a bad thing - early Sabbath featured consistently powerful and memorable riffs, and by using them in this way, they were able to use their ideas to the fullest extent possible.

4) I actually enjoy Black Sabbath quite a bit :)

The Protagonist said...

That's early doom for you. It's mostly the stuff with Ozzy that I find very dull.

Dagg said...

Ozzy Black Sabbath is the only Sabbath worth really listen to. Work with Dio and Ian Gillan is inferior to the work with the singer's previous bands, and Tony Martin is just dull.

(And Glenn Hughes was just all around terribad)