Blast from Oblivion – “To Hell and Back”


To Hell and Back Horror influenced thrash/punk rock is not something you hear every day, especially from a band with a Christian viewpoint.  Of course, many will immediately offer up Grave Robber to fill that category and they’d be correct, but Splatter guts from the project Blast from Oblivion is here to offer up his own take on the genre.

Blast from Oblivion is a solo project of a mysterious individual knows as Splatter guts from Ithaca New York.  From the Facebook page,  the project started out as a struggle with drug and alcohol addiction and a hatred toward God and self, and when you combine that with musical influences ranging from Grave Robber/Misfits  to Municipal Waste and Social Distortion you can see how this project turned into a thrash/punk/horror album.  Assuming other musicians can be found, this solo project may even expand into a band doing some live shows.

To Hell and Back starts out with “The Beginning/Forbidden Land” and the intro instrumental part ends up incorporating the beginning of “Am I Evil” toward the end, presumably as “The Beginning” ends and “Forbidden Land” begins.  Very rough, raw guitar dominates the sound in this solo project with equally rough, borderline raspy vocals mostly shouted over the top.  Production is rough and the guitars and vocals dominate the mix. There is a definite Grave Robber/Misfit vibe at times to the album from the imagery used to the overall feel of songs like “Under the Horns” that reminds one a bit of songs like “London Dungeon.”   And then songs like “Severed from a Wretched Past” somehow manage to have almost an old Social Distortion feel to them from a music standpoint.

Lyrically, the album covers the general theme of sin, self-destruction, and redemption in Christ, a journey from darkness into light with none of the ugliness glossed over.  Choosing to work within the horror theme provides access to all of the gory, dark symbolism that fills this album.  In contrast to a band like Grave Robber that at times uses the symbolism in an almost tongue-in-cheek like manner, there is no humor here, this is deadly serious.

There is a good bit of variety to the songs on the album with some raging from the start and others like “Duck Duck Ghouls” starting out somewhat calmly and quiet before the guitars go into full distortion and take off at high speed.  At the midway point of the album is the instrumental track “Thoughts and Prayers” that provides a bit of a break from the seriousness and intensity during the album.  The break is short-lived, however, as “Dismemberment Lane” kicks in with its vivid description of addiction, withdrawal and mental anguish, “Poison flows through these veins, turning me into a monster…Slaughtered corpses lead the way, where my sanity disappears”.  The song itself is mostly fast and loud punk but ends rather quietly with some spoken word over chiming clean guitar.  “Blood Drenched/Metamorphosis” picks up the tale with the voice describing finding peace in God amidst all of the chaos, “Satan has no hold of me, salvation lies inside my heart”.  From this point on the album takes a bit of different turn from the descent into darkness of the first part to the message of salvation and struggle for righteousness of the second part of the album.  “Appetite for Flesh” describes dealing with temptation, ending with a prayer for strength and “Vile Transformation” is a call to strength for Christians to stand for what they believe in the midst of the darkness of the world.  The journey in To Hell and Back is rough and tumble fast punk rock, a gritty and sometimes very dark look at the human condition and trek from darkness to salvation.

Rating: 6.5/10

Written by John Jackson

01. The Beginning/Forbidden Land
02. Under the Horns
03. Lycanthropy
04. Duck Duck Ghouls
05. Severed from a Wretched Past
06. Thoughts and Prayers
07. Dismemberment Lane
08. Blood Drenched/Metamorphosis
09. Appetite for Flesh
10. Vile Transformation
11. Epiphany in Hell

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

Record Label: Sky Burns Black Records, Nov. 2014

Weblinks: Bandcamp / Facebook / Reverbnation / Twitter

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

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