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February 2000 Pick of the Month
A Thought Crushed My Mind
Artist:  Blindside
Label:  Solid State Records
Tracks: 11

Everyone knows that the best hard music comes from Scandinavia.  From black metal to hardcore, almost all of the most creative artists are from Norway and Sweden.  The latter's Blindside is no exception.  Their first album scored major critical and commercial points here in America, and it seems that the entire world was waiting on the edge of their seat for the follow-up, A Thought Crushed My Mind.

It was worth the wait.

A Thought Crushed My Mind avoids the monotony typical of hardcore/new metal bands, sidestepping it with the use of a string section, as well as a large amount of variation in the vocals.  Lead singer Christian Lindskog goes from screaming to singing to whispering, often in seconds.  The result is staggering.  This is one of the few hardcore albums I can listen to all the way through without getting bored.

The lyrics are almost better than the music--they manage to be artistic yet real, openly Christian while cliche-less, and self-examining without being awkward to the listener:

    Just one last cigarette and fly
    Coincidences made sorrow rule over your soul
    I'm standing with my wings around you
    I cry

    So try to show you're a man
    You're nobody's boy
    There is nothing that separates a man from a boy
    (From "As You Walk")

The standout track is the closer, "Nothing But Skin," which goes rapidly from soft acoustic guitars and strings to full-throttle hardcore, with Lindskog screeching out lines like "all of this was just a death kiss" and "My arms…can't be mine; they look more dead than alive."

Blindside is carving out a reputation as one of the best new metal bands in Christendom, and it's well-deserved.  A Thought Crushed My Mind is a must-buy for fans of the genre, and if you're new to the scene, it's a good place to start.

Michial Farmer

An old music comparison chart once compared Blindside to the flood of rapcore bands dropping like bombs onto the market. This album bears little or no resemblance to rapcore; the boys from Sweden have created a monster entirely their own.

Over the course of 11 tracks, the vocals rarely descend from the level of empassioned, throat-ripping yelling. Occasionally, however, a melodic vocal interlude appears. In these rare moments, Blindside sounds vaguely like Korn. For the most part, though, Blindside's intensity is far beyond that of most of the bands they find themselves compared to.

Lyrically, Blindside paints a picture of the struggle of humans dealing with a messed-up world, and what happens when a merciful God chases us down and won't let us go, as in "King of the Closet"

I'm a vampire, afraid the light will set me on fire...
we are not trained to see His mercy here...
This choice I've got to make, I've got to make alone
A heart of stone
This choice I've got to make
I've got to make it true
A heart broken in two.
They're screaming, they're singing (occasionally); they're yelling. Whatever it is the boys of Blindside are doing, they're doing it well.
 

Josh Marihugh 3/12/2000

 

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