Blitzkid: Apparitional

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Blitzkid: Apparitional
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Blitzkid: Apparitional
Horror Punk
People Like You Records
May 3rd, 2011
Release length: 55:16
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Blitzkid is a group that has actually existed in the Horror Punk spotlight now for quite some time. Well, as much in that light as possible given the group’s more underground tactics and label signings. After their debut release back in 2000, the group has issued a number of full-lengths through the years, all leading to their latest 2011 offering, Apparitional. The album finds a home with yet another underground label, People Like You Records. But, despite the amount of releases and time together, Blitzkid hasn’t really seen a lot of positive press. Does Apparitional have what it takes to set itself apart from the rest of their discography?

Unlike most underground Punk bands, or styles even remotely related to it like Crossover Thrash or even Hardcore, this recording has a pretty clean audio quality. And, with that, it unfortunately rather sterile. The music itself sounds more along the lines of a mainstream Punk Rock album with traces of haunting chords involved. The guitars sounds pretty weak, and are largely masked by a significantly more dominating bass. This gives the music a bit of an edge, but that instrument is still not that great, coming in at a higher pitch then it really should be, but still gives enough of a bassier drive to the sound to make it feel a little like it has some edge to it. This is largely to the lighter material though, such as on “Head Over Hills.” When the band does pick up their material, the songs can actually sound somewhat rich with guitars that are noticable, and an overall heavier quality with a deeper bass. The drums remain the same though, having a decent click to the kicks against cymbols that sound a little less then impressive against solid snares that fill the music well. Vocally, it’s a mixed bag. Again, with the less enthusiastic tracks, they can sound pretty bad, and actually put the listener to sleep with how soft they can come through. However, in the more energetic tracks, there’s a little harmonization that goes along with the Punk Rock and Horror Punk sound the band brings with them that does help to make that specific song more enjoyable.

As stated, “Head Over Hills” feels like a trainwreck basically. The song sounds rather muffled with the instruments pushed back in the mix with soft vocals that are so boring they’ll put you right to sleep, offering no real variety at all with music is bland for the style. The only really interesting aspect of the song are the background screams that occur during the gang chant sections. But, as if suddenly woken up by a sugar or caffeine rush, “They’re All Dead” kicks in with an introduction of a police scanner and static of a news report that goes into a pretty energetic track all around with louder music that is immediately catchy and full of life. With that being said, it seems much of the release tries to follow this formula then the one outlined in “Head Over Hills,” which is great considering some of the catchy tracks that do follow such as “Mr. Gore.” This shorter song works well with the more upbeat sound and faster pace to create an infectious track that will find your head bobbing along to it. There’s also “The Awakening” which definitely packs more energy and a faster pace to it that genuinely feels a little on the dark side, while still presenting a rich sound that anyone could enjoy.

“The Awakening” breaks this formula a bit, but not to really sacrifice that more lively sound. The song itself is still somewhat energetic, though trying to give off a bit of a somber atmosphere similar to “Head Over Hills,” but it really incorporates a better vocal performance, and all around doesn’t sound really bland to the point where the listener will be put to sleep by it. Infact, this one really does stand out amid the rest of the traditional Horror Punk material. The haunting music works well to create a bit of a cascading gothic tone to the track with a very impressive chorus that actually takes the tone of the song a step forward to weave a bit of a unique experience. There’s also “Moonlite Vein,” which stands out well as a strong horror-fueled track with that tinge of gothic atmosphere that makes the song a bit creepy, as well as catchy and even a little upbeat.

“She Won’t Stop” takes things back to earlier on with the release, but at the same time appears to be the longest track of the release. Sadly this is a lie since it doesn’t break the three minute mark, but overall the actual song it’s named after is still pretty catchy, though once more not the most unique offering. There is a long gap of silence before an acoustic piece kicks in, performing one of the earlier tracks in a more emotional setting that perfectly suits the band’s attitude and the tone of the song in general. It’s sad that Blitzkid winds up having this track hidden, whether by choice or not, and really makes for a fantastic closing track. There’s great potential with this one song considering some of the less then unique material the band offered earlier, and it makes you hungry for more songs similar to it.

This isn’t to say that Apparitional is a bad album. While claiming there’s a lack of fresh, unique sounds to the fifteen tracks that make up the release, it’s actually a little hard to try to breathe new life into this style at this point, and almost impossible to not come off as a Misfit‘s clone, or copy of one of those other acts. Blitzkid honestly does a good job at crafting an accessible, catchy Horror Punk album, though they start out in the worst way possible. Apparitional is definitely not going to win over any new fans, but you cannot deny that there are still some enjoyable offerings on here, and some that do try to deviate from the traditional formula, which is something nice to experience. In the end, this is another release that will make you rather you were listening to the founders of the style, but as far as some new material goes for this breed of music, this one is not an effort completely worth passing up.

01. Head Over Hills – 4:29
02. They’re All Dead – 3:39
03. Blutsauger – 2:42
04. The Awakening – 2:41
05. Mr. Sardonicus – 4:02
06. Mr. Gore – 2:29
07. The Bat Whispers – 4:05
08. Wretched – 4:16
09. The Perfect Sleep – 3:34
10. Moonlite Vein – 2:02
11. Cedar Bluff – 1:55
12. Jane Doe #9 – 3:32
13. Casque of Amontillado – 3:35
14. The Iscariot – 4:07
15. She Won’t Sleep – 8:09
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Blitzkid (Band)
Blitzkid (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by People Like You Records.