ABOUT: BLANK – Somewhere Between Survive And Kill

ABOUT: BLANK - Somewhere Between Survive And Kill
  • 8/10
    ABOUT: BLANK - Somewhere Between Survive And Kill - 8/10


Release date: November 17, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

For those of you who have a starting home page setup in your Internet Explorer… About: Blank is when you don’t have a page setup so let’s say it’s the default mode of the Internet Explorer program. But hey, you’re not here to read about software for Windows applications – you’re here for Metal and so you shall get it!

About: Blank, from Belgium, is a project, or you can just call it a band, by veteran Vocalist / Bassist, Alain Depret , who has been active in Belgium’s Metal scene since the mid 1980s. This person went a long way before he created his own baby. Bands like Mystica, Slanesh, 8-Red and Die For Fun are part of his Metal milestones. After leaving Mystica, in 2007, Alain started his own studio and that is when he also started About: Blank. About:’s style is more American than European. From their debut album, Somewhere Between Survive And Kill, they seem to derive their influences from Modern Thrash and Hardcore. You can hear S.O.D, the late era of Overkill, Carnivore and Machine Head running through the tracks hand in hand. One important thing to mention is that Somewhere Between Survive And Kill was handled by Depret alone.

The material offered by About: is mostly aggressive as ordered by the mixture of Modern Thrash and Groovy Hardcore. However, you can sense that there are small sections that are quite surprising like the atmospheric keyboards, enchanting acoustic riffs and even tiny beats of Heavy Rock or Metal rhythms. In addition, most of the songs average beyond 3 or 4 minutes so it offers various head on heaviness to some less rougher edges , which most comes when you least expect it. The guitars and vocal work are at their peak in this release. The guitars produce Thrash / Hardcoric rhythms of sheer heaviness from Palm Mute killers to kick downs, excellent lead guitar semi-melodies and well-written solos. Another cool fact, for you Old Schoolers, is that the guitar’s sound is similar to many Old School Thrash Metal bands and the lead guitar, sometimes, sounds like it was taken from Death. Moreover, there is the excellent work on the acoustic rhythms, although simple, yet interesting and well timed. The vocals are varied and performed with high rate. Alain is a very talented vocalist; his voice is similar to a mix between Peter Steele and Rob Flynn with deep barking tones, yet his clean vocal pattern is more similar to Flynn’s , which is melodic and great to listen to.

There are two problems surrounding this release. The first is the drums. It is unknown if Depret used the same patterns of the sticks, but something is just not right. The snare sound, for instance, is not consistent in the songs and sometimes sounds like clapping and it’s way too irritating to listen to, gladly you have the guitars and vocals to focus on. The second problem, which is major, is the inconsistency of the mixing and mastering. It seems like Depret did not check them on most of the songs. For example, in one song the drums shadow, almost totally, the guitars or in many of the songs the gain level of some of the instruments is too much and it cause all sorts of annoying disturbances and noise. The outcome from these problems is that positively good songs are ruined.

With all the problems, there are star tracks within the album: “Assault And Battery” a true fist in the face, but it comes with someone that cleans the blood. Also this song was featured on W.Y.A.T. and delivers crushing rhythms and a great vocal. “R.I.S” in some moments sounds like a Metalcore tune but it still recognized as a successful track. The only sad part is its end, which is dreadful. “Distress Of My Own” a long number containing almost everything, head bashing riffs sided with acoustic verse to wrap it up. “Never Say Die” , though not like Sabbath , yet it chops and its chorus is amazing. “Falling Deeper”, it really sounds like falling , in the positive sense. Its intro is unusual for this project, with a Power Metal lead guitar rhythm, yet moments after you discover that you are back to no man’s land with a fist in the face, and then later you even get a Death moment from the early 1990s. A thing that is for sure from this one, Depret is well skilled on the drums and he is an awesome vocalist. Like in previous numbers, there is a gain problem here.

“Left Behind” is “Assault And Battery”’s runner-up for the best song of this release, a great closer for this release. The riffs here are more Old School than the others , more like Death’s Spiritual Healing. Yet still that gain problem that aches, but you will live with it when you check out the chorus.

This album of About: Blank , can fit all , it’s got guts , power , heaviness , yet is can be interesting even to a Heavy Rock fan. So open your mind and listen to this baby.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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