RETRO TUESDAYS: Loudblast – Disincarnate (1991) REVIEW

My introduction to Loudblast was through their historical split CD with Agressor ‘Licensed to Thrash’ and being particularly impressed with both of these legendary Slayer influenced French death metal bands, I picked up ‘Sensorial Treatment’. From there I was hooked more than most as each album beyond the first was an interesting progression in style, I could see it was the same band but they’d make interesting and inspired stylistic changes with each recording. This constant progression could have been an effort to stay current, to keep up with extreme metal as whole, or to make music that’d allow them to tour with the bands they loved. It doesn’t entirely matter, Loudblast have always gone to new places with their music and it has almost always worked.

Two Loudblast albums particularly struck a chord with me immediately, first the subtle melodic death metal genius of ‘Sublime Dementia’ (and the ‘Cross the Threshold’ EP, of course). ‘Sublime Dementia’ is perhaps the best melodic death metal album ever recorded and they’d developed some of the unique rhythm guitar style on their 1991 pure death metal record ‘Disincarnate’. So, why doesn’t every old school death metal fan go completely nuts every time I mention Loudblast? It’s simple: Scott Burns. If you have never been able to warm up to ‘Breeding the Spawn’ or ‘Harmony Corruption’ then you have let his fuzzy, cavernous and cheap treatment blur some incredible music from your mind. I never gave a shit about the original mix of ‘Disincarnate’ because I was already a metal demo fanatic and one of my favorite recordings is the original mix of Sepultura‘s ‘Beneath the Remains’, another early Burns cult-ed mix. Secondly, the obscured mix actually worked to emphasize Loudblast‘s Florida death metal inspired sound on ‘Disincarnate’. Loudblast were able to better realize the ambitions of Death‘s ‘Human’ and their own Slayer influence into an entirely unique melodic death metal approach.

Uppity about it’s sound? Fuck off already because ‘Disincarnate’ was restored to crystal clarity back in 2015 and has been made widely available by Listenable Records since. Despite the ‘no frills’ approach to production, Burns and Co. got a massive performance out of Loudblast during one of their most inspired peaks. The mid-to-fast paced melodic style this record is unique because these guys had been a speed metal band less than a decade before this. Of course Stéphane Buriez is the mastermind but the performances of longtime second guitarist Nicolas Leclercq leave as much of a notable impression. Fresh off of his incredible ‘Reign in Blood’ inspired performance on Agressor‘s ‘Neverending Destiny’ Thierry Pinck‘s drumming on ‘Disincarnate’ epitomizes the versatility of proper old school death metal drumming. None of this should be missed if you are a fan of France’s incredible death metal history, the evolution of death/thrash and Florida death metal, melodic death metal variants, as well as old school death metal in general.

Though the guitar hysterics and brutality of old school death metal is always worthwhile spectacle, the bands that stuck in my head for decades above others are the ones with underlying memorable songwriting. Loudblast, being old school heavy metal maniacs, could always write a catchy metal song. ‘Disincarnate’ is a battery of them, actually and shows a lot of it’s cards with the opener “Steering For Paradise” you can hear a few riffs that would heavily influence Mercyless on their first album as well. “Disquieting Beliefs” offers a thunderous take on Pestilence‘s thrashier moments that stands out as one of the more spirited takes on the album. “The Horror Within” not only features riffing worthy of a death/thrashed ‘From Beyond’ (alternately ‘Leprosy’) but features Massacre‘s Kam Lee on the chorus. It is a banger from start to finish and has been up there in my top ten death metal albums for at least a decade.

Loudblast certainly haven’t gone unnoticed over the years. They’re particularly famous in France but only get decent mention in most death metal circles for their third album ‘Sublime Dementia’. If you’re yearning to see what else they can do with melody, and an even more unique lyrical focus, then I’d suggest that album and ‘Cross The Threshold’ EP too. For my taste ‘Disincarnate’ is the real kicker in their early discography and an incredibly overlooked minor classic in death metal’s history.

NOTE: Click HERE to listen to the original mix/sound of ‘Disincarnate’ on YouTube. Otherwise there is a Bandcamp link to the 2015 remaster below. Nothing is lost in the remaster so I generally suggest jumping to it unless you find value in providence.

Artist Loudblast
Type Album
Released July 1, 1991
BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp! [2015, Remaster] Follow Loudblast on Facebook
Genres
Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal

Anxious beings, insane sermons. 4.5/5.0

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