Now that’s a surprise, right? Beatdown hardcore debuting on DIY Conspiracy. Аctually, not exactly as Bulgaria’s Redound have been able to move from the way more conservative boundaries of the genre and have approached their brand new album in way more interesting way. Obsessed was published online yesterday (September 29th) and it’s indeed quite a surprising listen.
A major step ahead and a reason for an instant thumbs up in comparison to its predecessor Upon You is the sound. Obsessed was recorded in the very same studio by the very same producer (Sofia’s Sub Zero Studio and Nikolay Berberov) as the first album, but now the drums don’t have that thin metallic taste but sound tight and massive instead. The guitars are thick and convincing, the bass is subtle, placed in the lows, not ringing and mid ranged and so it provides a roundy low-end instead of being raw, overdriven and brought to the front. The whole mix is super punchy, yet not too sterile. Music-wise Redound have definitely changed a bit. Don’t know if it’s the side projects, which almost all of the band members have started since the last record, or it was just the urge to overcome the cliches of a genre already way too simple to remain challenging for a fifth release in a row. Obsessed is not afraid to move from slow slamming parts to death-metal influenced mid-tempo build ups which may either be calmed by two-step passages or transform in straight-forward fast hardcore outbursts. Thankfully no patchy blast beats to be found in the album, not even on Digital Ruin, wohooo!
Being with only one guitar has certainly not crippled the record as whenever the guitars decide to explore the more melodic side of things the bass is there to back the sound up so the pieces don’t lose volume and presence. The vocals are neatly captured, especially the high-pitched screams are way more convincing than before. However, I’d like it more if both singers did more doubles and were switching places way more dynamically, as after the first few songs you already know who’ll start the next phrase.
Speaking of vocals, lyrically Obsessed is way more introvert than everything else I’ve heard from Redound until now. Their usual (anti) social themes have switched places with a figurative textual recreation of what I suppose is originating from personal experiences. That itself is also a huge plus as it’s not so often noticed in straight forward beatdown. I’m only puzzled about the track Heroes, which is a strictly party song about having fun on live shows and as such it serves the purpose, but I’m kinda not feeling it in the middle of the album. Maybe it should’ve been left for a video single or I don’t know. It’s just damn weird to have a party Deez Nutz-ish track in the middle of your self-destruction.
The lyrics are in general also sometimes puzzling me structure-wise. We have the tracks Пирани (with Mechkata from Death Squad, whose featuring is surely the best guest intervention in the album) also Вляво от трона, which are both really neatly written. Most of the others though are based on rhyming, which is a style, I understand that. Still, I’m not so certain one is allowed to use so many different types of rhyming in the very same pieces of writing, which in this case are also quite short as length. We mostly have masculine tail rhymes switching places with crossed ones, sometimes even off-centered rhymes may appear, while the rest of the piece have been started and handled in a different way. That sometimes doesn’t really allow the text to remain homogeneous. Rhyming is good, but it has to be done super crafty so it’s sufficiently convincing. And the ideas behind the words, enhancing the tracks really deserve to be handled in a good way as they are indeed a breath of fresh air and so is the whole album in general.