Blindfolded And Led To The Woods – Nightmare Withdrawals

Band: Blindfolded And Led To The Woods
Title: Nightmare Withdrawals
Label: Independent
Release date: 26 March 2021
Country: New Zealand
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

“Blindfolded And Led To The Woods” what a unique and descriptive band name! and it certainly got my attention immediately giving me visions of fear, danger and feeling isolated! BUT I had no idea what I was about to get myself in for once I pressed play on their latest record “Nightmare Withdrawals”….

Unsure what it is about New Zealand and ground breaking dissonant intense bands like Ulcerate but I am here for it, the album opens with the cheery “The Inevitable Fate of the Universe” and I don’t even know where to begin! what a track, it has everything! dissonant, technical, groovy, heavy and intense! I’m already at a high and it’s just started.

Next up we have “Black Air” Hitting like a concrete shovel filled with iron​ blending technicality and atmosphere with hard hitting riffs making me want to punch something! Quickly we move onto “And You Will Try To Speak” More on the mathcore and post spectrum than the previous track and when it flows into a clean part that sounds almost relaxing and throws you completely out and suddenly back into the distorted barrage once again! god, it’s glorious.

Now onto “The White Eyes” short and sweet! groovy and mesmerizing! Next, we have “Atop The Wings Of A Magpie” featuring Karl Sanders of Nile! what a feature! This track does not disappoint hitting in with mid-tempo technical groove and crushing blast beats slotting in perfectly and the Tremelo breakdown with the creepy clean guitar was a riveting ride accompanied by a stunning solo!

Moving slowly onto “Lucid Visitations” featuring Callum Gay (Unsure if that’s a typo, can’t find anyone) but either way this song has a dreamlike state at the start and running through with that ‘post’ element coming in again and the expected dissonant technical groove and intensity as before but this one feels different to me seems to be sadder and more emotive! maybe it just resonated with me.

Swiftly we move onto the title track “Nightmare Withdrawals” slamming into your ears like a Bass driven freight train on holiday to Tremelo town, great track! Back to post again breaking up the album and adding that depth and pointing out that it isn’t always existential screaming with instruments to get your point across, then into a shredding barrage! OK! I am saying it, the vocalist reminds me of a mix between Barney from Napalm Death and Karl Willets of Bolt Thrower/Memoriam and it fits like a glove within this brutal organized chaos this band have put together!

Next up we have “Rorschach and Delirium”, this track is easily one of my favourites because it’s utterly crushing! Ough! the groove and riffs on this are just heaven to my ears combined with their unique mixture it’s just so satisfying, plus that lounge ending!

The final track “Sic Mundus Creatus Est” hits with the finality of interesting guitar melodies and heavy mathcore and almost uncomfortable sections hurling into a whirlwind of groove and intensity! This tack has everything that this album and band are about, uncompromising sound and incredibly cleverly designed and orchestrated songwriting and musicianship but most importantly pure intent of vision!. 9/10 Kieran

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9/10 : Epic Storm!
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