This dense, furious and complex slab of work will transport you immediately back to the era of the exalted power trio. Fans of psychedelic power rock blues exalt, if you loved everything about Hendrix, Marino and Trower, this modern and ferocious wall of sound will have you, and your speakers begging for mercy. I can only imagine how the guitars felt when this was done, every manner of riff wrung out of their souls. There should be a danger warning about listening when driving.
Formed in 2002, Blindstone, comprising Martin Anderson (guitar and vox) and also featuring the accomplished talents of Jesper Bunk (bass) and Anders Hvidtfeldt (drums) hail from Denmark. Rise Above is the third, and most polished and professional work thus far from the trio. The writing, production and engineering are uniformly superb. The first two albums, Manifesto (2003) and Freedom’s Calling (2008) , also on the excellent Grooveyard label, ”keeping REAL music alive!” are also well worth investigating, particularly the second which features a lengthy guitar war between Martin and Lance Lopez.
Rise Above comprises ten tunes, including the cover tunes “He’s Calling” by Frank Marino, a total rocked out version of the Isley’s “Up the Ladder” and the fantastic version of Hendrix’s “House Burning Down” with guest appearance by Poul Hapberg, renowned Danish blues fusion guitarist. That leaves seven original numbers including a scintillating guest solo spot from Ty Tabor of King’s X on the phenomenal title track, “Rise Above”. I am guessing Marty had KX in mind when writing this tune, because the vocal timbre and delivery are very reminiscent o Dug Pinnick. All of the tunes feature Marty’s impassioned vocals over searing guitar riffage, a modern take on that classic sound. The rhythm section alternately rocks, caresses or funks out based on the song’s demands. Highlights for me were the title track, “Keep the Rock Alive” and the excellent Marino cover.
Once again, fans of the classic era of the power trio, you will not be disappointed, this band deserves to be heard and all the success in the world. Victor Borge would be proud \m/.
Review by Mike Blackburn
Rating : 92%