Blast from Oblivion – “Restrained”


Splatter Guts is back with Restrained, the follow up to the 2014 horror-punk debut album To Hell and Back.

Blast from Oblivion and its creator Splatter Guts is a bit of mystery in general , even in this internet age.  What we do know is that for now it is a solo project from an individual in Ithaca, NY.  Splatter gut cites influences ranging from Grave Robber/Misfits to Social Distortion to Municipal Waste and Cannibal Corpse, so with that in mind, one can get some type of idea of what the end result would be.  In the last year or so, Blast From Oblivion has expanded and changed direction a bit, performing acoustic shows and bringing on Coffin Ghoul to play some guitar.  Word has it, that the third album is in the works and will not be a solo project like Restrained or the debut To Hell and Back.

Restrained wastes no time in setting up a creepy vibe with “Silent Screams”, a song filled mostly with a clean guitar line and some spoken and shouted gravelly vocals over the top. “Haunted Apparition” is where the listener gets a clearer idea of what the project is all about.  This song is fast punk rock complete with shouted vocals and a gritty guitar line driven along by a fast drum beat, all of which belie some minimal production that gives a live demo-like feeling.

While the intention of this album was to be a concept piece like To Hell and Back, the album ended up being a collection of songs about insanity and the darkness that seems to envelop the world today.  The song “Nyctophobia” (fear of the dark) does a good job of conveying this overall concept.  There’s a quiet, clean guitar opening not unlike Metallica’s “Fade to Black” that dissolves into a raging punk rock riff and shouted vocals that convey a sense of hopelessness and nightmarish imagery until the call for Christ to release the singer from all of the chaos after which the song reverts back to the clean guitars and relative calm.

One thing I can fully appreciate is how the music changes up but never loses sight of the overall feel and approach of the album.  In contrast to the straight ahead punk rock of earlier tracks, “Bloodlust’ has this cool groove, almost something akin to rockabilly but done with heavily distorted guitars, the kind of rhythm that gets your feet tapping.  Meanwhile, “Brain Splattered Matter” reverts back to minimalist punk rock where a fast tempo and machine gun fire vocal delivery are the norm.

“Bloodsuckers (Story of a Lost Boy)” takes things in an entirely new direction with the introduction of clean vocals in contrast to the raspy shouted vocals found elsewhere.  In this case the song has both styles and the contrast is used to good effect.  Throughout the album, the emotion and heart behind the vocals comes through very well  as the Splatter Guts cries out to God for help and release from the demons that torment him.

“Mental Wasteland” opens up with a guitar riff sounding like something from an ancient Iron Maiden demo before the rest of the band comes in and somewhat fittingly, “Jekyll and Hyde” has some tempo and style changes that may fit with the title characters.  The last full track on the album “Stench of Flesh” features some odd effects on the guitars and some extended spoken sections that just didn’t work for me, although Splatter Guts voice is a bit reminiscent of Alice Cooper at times, which is pretty cool.  The album closes out with the second of two tracks that are new versions of songs from To Hell and Back, and in this case, “Under the Horns II” is a stripped down version of the original and this works really well with its Misfits vibe.

Splatter Guts is on to something with this project and Restrained shows a good bit of growth compared to  To Hell and Back.  The topics are dark but there is a sense of hope that comes through in the songs and I would really like to see these done with a full band, live and in the studio as there is a good collection of styles and influences that come through, all of which are complimented nicely by the heavy emotion in the vocals.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson

Track List:
1 Silent Screams
2 Haunted Apparition
3 Nychtophobia
4 Bloodlust
5 Brain Splattered Matter
6 Flesh Disorder
7 Thoughts & Prayers II
8 Bloodsuckers (Story Of A Lost Boy)
9 Wake The Dead
10 Mental Wasteland
11 Undead Horde
12 Jekyll & Hyde
13 Stench Of Flesh
14 Under The Horns (Acoustic)

Band Members
Splatter Guts – Guitars, Bass, Vokills, Drums, Horror

Record Label: Sky Burns Black Records, 2017

Weblinks: Facebook / Reverbnation / Twitter iTunes

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Lyric video for ‘Bloodlust’


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