Review | Blind Man’s Daughter – Sundressed [Vinyl Edition]

Heavy Metal Records LtD.UK

`Sundressed’ resonates with me since its maiden spin in September of last year. The album crafted by Ashley Wolfe and her band Blind Man’s Daughter shook my foundations and this new vinyl edition empowers my findings. More powerful it pumps from my speakers, with the openness of its clean production paved more solid in airwaves lucidly rounded out around the nesting themes and melodies. More powerful, yet more lucid, denser and more rounded, louder and specifically targeted at your mind as squared and multiplied food for thought with delicious deep prowess.

Upon review of Blind Man’s Daughter’s ground shaking debut `Sundressed’ I started off my pitch with Edgar Allen Poe’s statement “All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream”, addressing how we live inside a dream keeping hope alive. 


At the helm of the musical exquisiteness are singer Ashley Wolfe’s monumental chants and seductive warming vocal executions meandering the dreamy realms. Very atmospheric and with a narrative wink, she translates the lyrics into vocal lines that are glued upon the intricate carcass of the songs, where Dan Grosse’s and Wolfe’s guitars meander alongside ReVv’s insanely wild bass licks and chords. Countering the multi layered drum fills and time changes Brock Christian brings forward, the density opens to grandiose instrumental interplay. In fine line with vocal melodies or guitar licks the out of sync progressive twists are glued onto thematic brief hooks and captivating melodies. 

Underneath, the songs radiate comforting vibrations landing deep in the subconscious mind, tying down the abject high stakes of the musical output with comforting lyrics. It channels Wolfe’s grand adventure of self-discovery. The longing, perseverance and beauty of living in the moment and embracing the now. This deep channeling of emotions is fed into the musical swirling ambiance and is absolutely gobsmacking. Ashley’s natural ability to burst frailty into agony, despair lighting the anger, make `Sundressed’ land so immensely deep inside every grain of your body. 


,,Mirage Hammer” is full of heavy hammering drums and intricate guitar licks that drone in contrast with the cried-out lyrics. Extremely modern (industrial) synths land position amidst the raining riff and meandering guitar melody. Intricate time changes cast intense discomfort to which the throbbing low bass is weld. Bonding the musical diversity, Wolfe sings with heavily phrased momentum, belting out her deep synergetic lyrics with power and appeal.

The title track displays her immense talents pushing boundaries, creating spawning progressive rock. Jazzy tinged and staccato, ,,Sundressed’’ rolls forward with melodic accolades and directive persona. Blasting drums are brisk and short, Ashley switches between phrased narrative vocals and angelic chants. Much like a love child of Björk and Kate Bush, she dramatizes her delivery with rich octave variety. The melody of the song is nesting and crisp, topped by the followed grim and more ominous ,,Saeancer”. Ashley howling out loud and belting deep growls, spawning fierce agony. Drawing death metal sections into the versatility of the progressive rhythm changes, ,,Saeancer” spawns darkness. Modern sound effects and futuristic keys atop the repetitive riff with grounded breaks adding cataclysmic discomfort. 


The contrast can’t be bigger with Blind Man’s Daughter moving into the acoustic melodic opening of ,,Kyhell” transcending into a bomber tune full of emotional swings and swirling melodies. Wolfe and Grosse’s guitar work borders cinematic before going all Petrucci and DiMeola on us. Their trade-off is richly pitched, the riffs and chordal explorations are astounding. Wolfe’s wailing vocal unload is vivid and rich, with dramatic accolades. Monumental is silence amidst all this musical mayhem. There’s a sonic depth created in the silence dropping in between the ‘flickering’ and urging drums and bass recurring. This drops sonically in the dreamy and misty ,,Bloodmoon”, with its ethereal grace and epic carvings. Modern and fresh, with contemporary structures meddling with trip beats and lush synths. Again, the vocal execution is awing and the sultry of Wolfe’s delivery mesmerizes. The lush and intricate track making side A ebb away hesitative. 

Wailing with agony, ,,Days Fall” sees Wolfe belting out her agony with Björk accolades, pressing Anneke van Giersbergen appeal. The song shoots into gear, giving the albums flipside its wonderous momentum. Guitar salvo notes and drizzle with plucking. The emptiness of the openly constructed soundscape is daunting, its dawning is yielding emotions. In the stillness of the song is its deep emotive concept channeling sonic resonance. This meandering duality of musical genius depletes the introspective opening of ,,Dust and Light”.

Abruptly ended by the harsh section full of turmoil and notes fired upon us, the urge and push of the track enrolls in absolute progressive towering magnitude. Poly rhythmic drum patterns and blastbeat salvos lay down the groundwork for brutal riffing and unwithheld bass swirls. Ashley brings in her metal howls following her melancholic haunted singing. It opens the sonic realms completely, displaying the insane heavy side of Blind Man’s Daughter. Raw and raucous. 


Suddenly returning to its ethereal lushness, Wolfe aligns musical and vocal interplay, encompassing her grip on reality on the short ‘instrumental’ ,,Dust”. The song seems to settle the dust dancing in the sunlight of its brisk and fresh content, opening to the album’s grande finale of ,,Nights Fall” and ,,Waves”. Both songs bring out the most versatile vocal delivery in Wolfe, embarking on the heavier prog metal journey closing this endeavour in style. It checks all the boxes of creative mastery, without losing track of its strong thematic binding and melodic grace.

,,Waves” is the end station and most complex proggie skited track on display. Intense breaks and jagged riffs, profound time changes and rhythmic combustions by the dozen, and Ashley belting out sharp and rich vocals, the song makes the album go out with an enormous big bang. Its flowing musical waves evoke glorious momentum, making you reach for the shining heavy vinyl to flip for another spin. 

`Sundressed’ benefits from the rich density of this vinyl edition. The tracks’ loudness is extravagantly pushing forward, without losing the production’s finger licking depth and detail. Blind Man’s Daughter’s musical prowess and genius craftsmanship is maintained and inflated with the accolades of this rounded vinyl. Breathing more life into the organics of this versatile release, it adds massively. Its piercing guitar wizardry and lush polyrhythmic propulsion shifting gears constantly, make this vinyl edition of `Sundressed’ gain prestige. Becoming enormously monumental in appeal and captivation, and when scaling back on its lush deep channeled transcendence, it sparks heavily saturated bliss on all musical levels. Landing deep in your chemistry, `Sundressed’ is a keeper!




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