Battlefields
Stained With the Blood of an Empire

Every year there is an album that I get too late to submit to my various journalistic outlets as one of the best albums of the year. This year, that honor falls to Minnesota’s Battlefields, who despite their blackened moniker and album title, manage to somehow mix the ambient soundscapes of Pelican, Isis and even the Red Sparowes or The Autumn Project, the caustic stylings of Converge as well as doom metal in to one perfectly epic mix. Yes, I can finally use the term ‘doomcore’.

Originally released in 2006 in CD format on Init Records, Saw Her Ghost is now releasing this vinyl LP version of an already spectacular album with a bonus track, making a brilliant album even longer. Now containing 5 lengthy (6-10 minutes) tracks, Stained By The Blood of an Empire is a masterful exercise in melding the density and weight of discordant hardcore with the evocative builds and ebbs of post rock and the oppresion  and mood of doom.

Whereas most Isisian bands tend to stick to the build/peak/comedown mantra, and Battelfields’ songs do tend to have builds of sorts (i.e opener ‘Tides Upon the Crescent City’, the peaks are often dissonant, lumbering injections layered with pained screams and deep growls of Rusty Steele and Andrew Wallin, rather than mountainous same paced heft that is often predictable. For example ‘Intimations of Antiquity’ pretty much gets right to heaving tones, then settles into a more ambient affair including an impressive rumbling groove. ‘A Lifeless Polar Desert’delivers the album’s gnarliest vocal performance with Steele and Wallin trading screams and deep death metal growls though I could have done without the tracks last few wasted moments. ‘The Blood and Time at the World’ is a classic Doom metal lurch more akin to the likes of My Dying Bride or early Paradise Lost and when mixed with the layered vocal delivery, dreamy acoustic segue and shimmering ending makes for a stunning array of moods and atmospheres.

The vinyl only exclusive bonus track on the LP is a rather disappointing 5 minute instrumental number, though it does add a cool down period of closure to the previous tracks intensity and heft, giving the album a  sense of closure.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 10th, 2007

Comments

  1. Commented by: major faggot

    Shits for gays,.


  2. Commented by: Thomm

    One of the weakest sounding bands in a long time. Seriously puts me to sleep. I heard they were like Converge in some review. What an insult to Converge. Not even a comparison in my book. Battlefields is slow, repetitive garbage that is sloppy repetetiveness makes even my grandma think its solf. And the “heavy parts”, well they are about as heavy as Paris Hiltons turds. I cant believe I keep reading good reviews from mags and sites on theses guys, but almost all the reader or lister reviews hate them. How is that happening? Does their bullcrap label pay to get them good reviews or something? Must be nice. If only they diserved it. Next time they come to my town (Chicago) I going to go to their show an let them know personally that i think they are garbage and most people would agree with me. Its time to stop letting bands like battlefields be shoved down our gullets like they are here to save music or something. Get over this deep metal, doom crap whatever you are going to label it. To me, its just a bunch of former numetal and hardcore kids that grew up into cocky pretentious old assholes that refuse to let their dream die dispite how terrible they are and old and fat they are getting. Stay in your small town and stop pretending to be something you are not. We dont care that you were in some magazine or that you had some good review by some paid off lame website. Truth is, your “album” sounds like it was recorded in a garage with walmart microphones. That being the actual 15 minutes of music on it, the rest sounds like some kids first day with a micro cord over “insert atmospheric tones here” type sounds. Stock basic and badly recorded. I mean, when will garbage like this end? Maybe when the members of Battlefields relize that they will never in a million years be successfull in that band. I can tell being famous is really important to those guys. ( look at the dwarfy lead singer stand there with his arms crossed like hes some kind of threat.) Listen guys, your 15 minutes will never come, please leave us (and I speak for anyone with ears) alone. Move on with your lives, so we can with ours. Thank you.


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