A solid and energetic album highly recommended for fans of Melodic Death Metal, crafted by a Finnish band that has all it takes to become a future reference in Scandinavian heavy music.
Featuring high skilled musicians previously known from groups such as Thunderstone, Agonizer and Before The Dawn, here comes Finnish Melodic Death Metal band Among The Prey directly from the city of Jyväskylä, the largest city in the region of Central Finland and on the Finnish Lakeland, firing a pugnacious fusion of traditional and modern Melodic Death Metal in their debut full-length album Only For The Blinded Eyes. And before I even begin the detailed review of this 9-track album, I might say this is undoubtedly an excellent choice for fans of a genre that became a synonym to heavy music from all over Scandinavia.
The reason for that is quite simple as Among The Prey deliver exactly what Melodic Death Metal demands to be truly entertaining, including enraged screams, melodic guitar lines and vigorous beats. Formed in 2013 and having released a demo entitled My Demons in 2014, it’s time for the band to reach higher grounds and send their special message to the world with Only For The Blinded Eyes. “The whole point of the album was to make music as it always should be done. If the artist has something to say, he puts himself truly in the line of fire and pours it all out. So that every played note and every vocal line would transfer those raw emotions to the listener. I hope we succeeded in that, so it can be heard why this album just had to be done”, said the band’s founder and frontman Iiro Kuntsi.
In the opening track, directly named Smile, the band offers us all huge doses of violence but with that characteristic polished sounding of Melodic Death Metal, and you’ll quickly notice how each band member masters their respective instruments. As expected, Iiro leads the attack with his sick growls and piercing riffs, making an excellent duo with the other guitarist for Among The Prey, Joni Laine. The following tune, Beyond Repair, is a modernized sonic devastation highly influenced by Groove Metal, where its nonstop beats are enhanced by its excellent guitar lines, turning this into a song tailored for igniting a fun circle pit with your friends during the band’s live performances; whereas the title-track Only For The Blinded Eyes gets darker than its predecessors, exhibiting lots of elements from the Gothenburg Sound but with the band’s own touch. For instance, especially during the song’s chorus the band seems to be paying a “tribute” to iconic bands such as In Flames and Soilwork.
Drinking from a similar music fountain of bands such as Arch Enemy, Among The Prey bring forward the very melodic and thrilling Burning Down In Hell, certainly one of the best tracks of the whole album (if not the best) mainly due to Iiro’s raging vocals, in special during the song’s catchy chorus about sorrow and regret (“Why did I do this to myself / Why can’t I make it go away / Over and over again / I’m burning down in hell”). Following that awesome chant, we have Pieces, which despite being a more introspective tune it still contains the unique fury crafted by the band. In addition, the precision by drummer Atte Palokangas is outstanding throughout the entire album, which can be witnessed in detail in his excellent performance during this song.
In Wake Up the band keeps blasting pure Melodic Death Metal, with the groovy and rumbling lines by bassist Toni Keskinen and the riffs by both Iiro and Joni elevating the overall quality of this neck-breaking chant. However, in order to avoid getting stale, the second half of the song presents a different approach from its first “act”, which in the end is a welcome breathe of fresh air and only makes things even better. In Your Face is another good display of the highly-developed skills of all band members, a solid fusion of Melodic Death Metal and Groove Metal that should sound very powerful during their live concerts, while in Two Worlds Colliding, a song about violence and betrayal (“Left behind, forgotten / Bout to walk this path / Blinded by all your / Darkened words / Violence has left me numb”), there’s a lot of hatred flowing from Iiro’s screams, with the only problem being that the song gets a bit tiring after a while. And finally, Dancing On Our Graves comes crushing with its four minutes of blazing riffs in perfect sync with the rhythmic drumming by Atte. This is perhaps the song with the highest amount of elements from different types of heavy music other than Melodic Death Metal, which makes me wonder the level of complexity the band could have reached with a couple of extra minutes if it was slightly longer than the final result (which is already really good, anyway).
In a nutshell, as I mentioned before Only For The Blinded Eyes is a solid and energetic album highly recommended for fans of Melodic Death Metal, crafted by a band that has all it takes to become a future reference in this type of heavy music. You can get more details on Among The Prey, their music, their tour dates and their future plans at their Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud and ReverbNation, and grab your copy of Only For The Blinded Eyes at the Inverse Records webstore or at the Record Shop X webstore.
Best moments of the album: Smile, Burning Down In Hell and Wake Up.
Worst moments of the album: Two Worlds Colliding.
Released in 2016 Inverse Records
1. Smile 3:49
2. Beyond Repair 3:51
3. Only For The Blinded Eyes 3:53
4. Burning Down In Hell 3:44
5. Pieces 4:45
6. Wake Up 4:15
7. In Your Face 3:04
8. Two Worlds Colliding 4:02
9. Dancing On Our Graves 4:16
Iiro Kuntsi – vocals, guitar
Joni Laine – guitar
Toni Keskinen – bass
Atte Palokangas – drums