Saturday 28 November 2015

The Bendal Interlude - Reign Of The Unblinking Eye (Album Review)

Release date: April 1st 2016. Label: Black Bow Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Reign Of The Unblinking Eye – Tracklisting

Buckfast For Breakfast
Losing Things
The Unblinking Eye
Eframs Hands
Pints of Bodies
Creeks Gigantic
Triumph of Fortitudo
The Block

Band Members:

Tommy - Bass
Dave Archer - Drums
Stu Taylor  -Guitars
Nat Gavin - Vocals


Anyone who is a fan or riffs and heavy music in general is probably a fan of Black Bow Records. Over the last couple of years the label run by Jon Davis (Head Riff Wizard at Conan in case you were unsure) has steadily released a series of impressive and acclaimed releases, including Bast, Undersmile and Slomatics.

The Bendal Interlude are the next name you can add to that list now.

Their first full length "Reign Of The Unblinking Eye" was recorded under the watchful gaze of Chris Fielding at Skyhammer and mastered by James Plotkin, and as such the band have produced a record certainly worth the wait/weight. (You know.... Cos it's heavy)

The fantastically named "Buckfast For Breakfast" starts of with a sample that probably sounds all too familiar to a lot of us "I go to work, I punch a clock, I do the same thing day in and day out" then riffs. Riffs For Breakfast. The song takes of at pace on a riff with a massive groove and some seriously unpleasant vocals. It brings to mind early Iron Monkey but with a sense of urgency.

More of the same massive riffs, expressive drumming and those fucking filthy vocals follow on "Losing Things" and "The Unblinking Eye" It's like thrash had a fight with sludge. I'm not sure who the winner was though....

"Eframs Hands" is up next featuring some impressive dual guitars, blast beasts and by now what is becoming that trade mark groove. It's a ferociously heavy record, that doesn't let up and unlike so many of the bands doing the rounds at the minute (and this is absolutely not a criticism) keeps up a fairly frantic pace throughout.

"Pint Of Bodies" for me the standout track on the record (helped again by another ruddy brilliant name) starts of kinda like some black metal blast beats but being played by a hardcore band, before seamlessly merging into some delicious low tuned sludge and the first slower (but not slow) moment on the album.

"R.I.P" is the album closer and the longest track on the record and starts gently with a bluesy almost lazy riff, but around the minute mark the energy levels go up a notch and we're off into full sludge swagger being dragged towards the records conclusion.

A band that has been around for sometime now and a band that everywhere we go, people always speak about with high regard, but a band that perhaps isn't yet at the forefront of people minds when talking about great UK heavy bands.

Well, "Reign Of The Unblinking Eye" could and should be just the record to change that.....

Available from 1st of April via Black Bow Records.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Dewar and Black Bow Records for the promo. Reign Of The Unblinking Eye will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Black Bow Records from April 1st 2016.