Blindfolded and Led to the Woods – Rejecting Obliteration (Prosthetic)

Friday, 12th May 2023
Rating: 8.5/10

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods last album, Nightmare Withdrawals, resonated with its ability to come up with something entirely caustic and dissonant, and not sound like the growing number of Gorguts/Ulcerate wannabes that have been advancing their numbers for a while now. It was a swirl of moody and murky death metal that left you just rattled enough in chaos to still enjoy it, yet didn’t hold back. Now on Prosthetic Records for their fourth album, Blindfolded is here once more to remind you of how massive death metal can sound without having to aim it entirely in one direction.

First and foremost, nothing has changed in terms of the band’s sonic output. Rejecting Obliteration sounds heavy. The battery of dissonant riffing and technically-driven melodies makes it weighty from the moment that “Monolith” takes off. But there’s also an almost trippiness to the track at its more melodic as well, giving them some extra leverage to really pull out the stops when they crank things back into bludgeoning territory. Speaking of which, “Methlehem” is just what any fan would expect – an utterly caustic and only occasionally groovy bruiser of a track that wants nothing more than to send you into a spiral of madness from the riffing and dissonance alone. It’s a jarring and claustrophobic track, but it does exactly what it sets out to do. On the other side of the spectrum, you have the closing “Caustic Burns,” a more introspective song at times that mostly trades hellish chaos for more dread and gloom, and stands out as one of the album’s strongest cuts. Earlier cut “Wraith” leans into these feelings as well, but maintains a more groovy presence that churns and burns as the song progresses. It’s Blindfolded and Led to the Woods’s ability to wield both the dismal atmosphere and technnical madness that makes them truly shine.

Rejecting Obliteration isn’t the type of album that quickly rewards the listener. But by giving it some time and allowing some of the grotesque beauty to truly bloom, you’ll be happy to dig into the devilishly dissonant vibes again and again as the band pushes you towards an unknown void. Blindfolded and Led to the Woods provide devastating heaviness, but you won’t forget it anytime soon either.

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