Spaniards Violblast only have the one EP under their belts prior to the release of debut album Conflict, a fact made the more surprising by the very mature nature of the sound they’ve cooked up.
Equal parts glossy Bay Area sheen and ragged Teutonic bluster, it’s a pretty enticing sound too, kinda like Raging Tides by Exumer but with some sort of added X-factor thrown in that makes it just that little bit more enjoyable. Maybe it’s the fact that Conflict is a short album – even briefer than Reign in Blood! – that gives the album it’s immediacy and kick-arse effect, I don’t know; but certainly the band never allow anything to get over complex here. Invisible Death is the longest track, weighing in at four and a half minutes in length, but generally the band is able to get the job done in three and a half minutes or less, keeping the pace breathless and the impact high.
Signs of a Murder and Bearing Witness are Slayeresque in the extreme, and I guess that band is probably the alpha and omega as far as Violblast are concerned, but there’s enough variety on offer elsewhere on Conflict – just – to keep them out of the ‘tribute band’ file, even if pretty much every song here bears some sort of Arayaesque imprint.
Santi Turk and Sebas Silvera have all the guitar tricks in their respective arsenals – all are given a run through on the afore-mentioned Invisible Death – with enough dive bombing to fit out an entire Stuka Squadron, whilst bassist Andrez Perez (you knew he was the singer too already, no?) doesn’t quite have the leather-lunged bellow of his hero yet but locks in admirably with rhythm mate Sergio Ruiz to provide the ballast that underpins the axe pyro going on behind him.
Reprisal is the only track that trips the wrong side of hero worship, but Violblast do enough on Conflict to let the listener know that the tools are in place here for something potentially quite special. If they can work on the originality a bit more, I’ll be front of the queue to hear what they come up with next.