Album Reviews

BLIND IMAGE – Psychobabble

  • Review by: Madhav R

I got hold of Blind Image’s debut album Psychobabble just a few weeks back directly from Krishna, the drummer of the band and at the time, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard a version of “Skin” that was making its rounds around the internet and I liked what I heard but that was about it. In any case, nothing could’ve warned me about what I was to hear next.

“Skin”, which is the first song on the album starts with a crisp guitar riff, followed by a gut-wrenching scream as the band kicks in. This one gets you up, and you start paying attention to what follows. Groovy guitar riffs over classic metal beats and a face melting solo, with a good, strong rhythm section to boot. Eric Cartman makes an appearance too, with his Quotable Quote Of The Day.

Song #2 “Shit Happens” has a few country moments at the start before it moves into classic thrash metal. The vocals on this song are particularly good, with some nice frequency changes along the way. “Mob Anthem (Bomb In The Cake)” is your quintessential, back to the roots, old school thrash metal song to relive the good ol’ days from the SF Bay Area. A special mention about the bass line on this song. Simple, follows the guitar note-to-note, yet delivers a solid, heavy blow.

After the first 3 songs on the album, I honestly did not expect a song like “Effigy”. Reminiscent of Testament’s “Return To Serenity”, this is almost completely an acoustic song, save the soulful solo at the end. It tells the tale of a man at the gallows, facing certain death. The vocals tend to sound a bit ‘emo’ at times but all in all, a very beautiful song. A word I normally would never use with a metal band but it fits so perfectly here.

“Psychobabble”, the title track which gets on next is again back to the band’s speed metal roots. Fast drumming and even faster riffing define this song. The end of the song is a big turn off, with lazy drawls and extremely slowed down riffs, but it probably fits the theme of the song. A corrupt politician goes through the grind, day after day.

“Say No More” has no real place in the album. I think it was intended to be a filler but it’s ended up as a blot on an otherwise classic album. It’s a 2 minute song, with muddy acoustic guitars. It’s hard to say whether that was the desired effect, but it ended up completely shifting the mood of the album, in an extremely unpleasant way.

“Read My Lips” features Christopher (from Chennai based funk rock band Public Issue) on vocals alongside David. It took me a couple of listens to actually appreciate this song. The twin vocals are well executed, although this wasn’t among my favourites on the album.

The last song “Kiss Of Anarchy”, is without a doubt, the pick of the album. And when you’ve heard the entire album, you’ll know how hard a decision that was to make. Extremely catchy guitar licks, nifty footwork on the drums and flashy basslines, this song has it all. I’ve heard Blind Image play the song live several times but on the recording, it’s just something else. A perfect way to end an almost perfect album.

You’ve gotta love Prashant Matthias’s guitar work on the album. He’s yet proved again why he’s one of India’s best guitarist and why he proudly plays a PRS guitar, given to him to Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth. The bass lines too are extremely good and sounds punchy, not what you’d usually associate with e metal band but it works well for Blind Image. The music production is great and the recording quality has a very old school touch to it, which adds to listening experience. Highly recommended for any metal fan.