Review | Blind Man’s Daughter – Sundressed
“All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream” Edgar Allan Poe stated, addressing how we live inside a dream keeping hope alive. But what if? What if the nightmare that counterbalances our dreams, enters the ethereal profoundness of our hopes and dreams? What if it darkens our most glorious skies? And how does it transcend as a song into progressive rock?
Much like Aviations’ `Luminatra’ breaks the sonic spheres, Blind Man’s Daughter explores the opposite sides of the musical spectrum and indices it with genre defying elements. They meander in the direction where you are unable to pinpoint, yet get immediately taken by their creativity and intricate musicality.
THE REALITY OF TALENTS
It is cringing to hear how much mediocrity blasts the airwaves, with real gems and talent being so severely overlooked. Non-talents hailed for the greater good of the money machine… Sad.
If only we were to hear the reality of talents still roaming the sonic wastelands. Musical genius such as Blind Man’s Daughter, exploring the outskirts of genres, redefining the boundaries and defying the musical physics of tonality and melody.
At the helm of the musical exquisiteness are singer Ashley Wolfe’s monumental chants and frail warming vocal executions that meander in 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 guitars pick and pluck alongside ReVv’s insanely wild bass licks and chords. Against the grain go the multi layered drum fills and time changes Brock Christian brings forward. In fine line with either the vocal melodies or guitar licks, it fuses an insanely musical cocktail of comfort and melodic connection, out of sync with everything the listener might classify as melodic.
THE MOMENTUM OF THE ALBUM
It is hard to grab hold of it on first spin. The sheer magnitude of the endeavour is too far challenging to comprehend. Wolfe brings forward her personal path in life, addressing her grand adventure of self-discovery. The longing, perseverance and beauty of living in the moment and embracing the now. It is exactly this that puts such emotional load on the momentum of the album. Her frailty bursting into agony, her despair lit up by anger, exploring life’s path and making `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 in between the raining riff and meandering guitar melody, while time changes cast intense discomfort to which the throbbing low bass is weld. Bonding the musical diversity, Wolfe sings with heavily phrased momentum, aligning with the guitar strut.
The title track displays the band’s immense talents of pushing boundaries. Very progressive, jazzy tinged and staccato, it rolls forward with melodic accolades. Blasting drums are brisk and short, Ashley switching between phrased narrative vocals and angelic chants. Much like a love child of Björk and Kate Bush, Wolfe dramatizes her delivery. The melody of the song is nesting and crisp, topped by the following more ominous ,,Saeancer”. Ashley howling out loud and belting deep growls, spawning agony. Modern sound effects and futuristic keys atop the repetitive riff and grounded breaks add a dystopic and cataclysmic discomfort. The contrast can’t be bigger with Blind Man’s Daughter moving into the acoustic melodic opening of ,,Kyhell”, which transcends into a bomber tune full of emotional swings and swirling melodies.
Grosse’s guitarwork borders cinematic before going all Petrucci and DiMeola on us. His tone is pitched rich, the riffs and chordal explorations are astounding. Monumental is the absence of tone. 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. Revv goes deep with his plucking bass and sudden fretboard rolls, perfectly aligned to Grosse’s wonderous guitar renditions and the stillness of subtle jazzy drums.
THE GRANDE FINALE
Wailing with agony, ,,Days Fall” sees Wolfe belting out her agony with Björk accolades, pressing Giersbergen appeal. Guitar salvo notes and drizzle with plucking. The emptiness of the soundscape is daunting, its dawning is yielding emotions. 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 enrols in absolute progressive towering magnitude. Poly rhythmic drum patterns and blast beat salvos lay down the groundwork for brutal riffing and unwithheld bass swirls.
Ashley brings in her metal howls following her melancholic haunted singing. Suddenly returning to its ethereal lushness, Wolfe is aligned encompassing her grip on reality on the short ‘instrumental’ ,,Dust”, in which things seem to settle and open for the 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 journey. ,,Waves” is the end station and most proggie track on display. Intense breaks and jagged riffs, time changes by the dozen, and Ashley belting out sharp and rich vocals. The song flows in musical waves and evokes glorious momentum.
BLIND MAN’S DAUGHTER – THE CONCLUSION
`Sundressed’ unites musical richness and diversity with stubborn uniqueness and technicality. Their sonic benchmark is to be defined, the impact however, is extremely eminent. The album is another one of those gems every progressive music addict is mandatory to listen and get into their system. Let the waves of turmoil hit you, make the emotions ebb and roll, enjoy this silence and stillness amidst the pressing urge of the modern rat race life is. `Sundressed’ takes you through these emotions.
Not only does Blind Man’s Daughter need to be heard, it needs to be experienced.
HERO MODE ON!
Release date: 18 August 2023