New Zealand death metal, grindcore and mathcore outfit Blindfolded and Led to the Woods are a band that push boundaries, drawing inspiration from far corners of the music world to use throughout their recorded output and frenetic live shows. We sat down with the band to find out which five albums inspire them the most.
Cynic – Focus
Stu: My philosophy for songwriting has always been to create something unique and to always be one step ahead of the listener. I strive to write music that catches people off guard. Cynic has always been an inspiration, particularly the earlier work as I feel it was before its time. With Focus I feel they paved the way for technical music to expand into something further than balls to the wall brutality, injecting elements of dynamic beauty.
Nile – Annihilation of the Wicked
Ben: Annihilation of the Wicked, the gateway Nile album. This album basically took a generic metalcore kid and showed him that "extreme" death metal can be accessible. Melodic, interesting, dynamic and modally unique, the thing that really made this album so important to my musical growth was that it brought a whole new world in using Middle Eastern sounding modes and interesting lyrical content based on history and mythology to place you in a uniquely emotive and listening space – two things that I would be so bold as to say most death metal sorely lacks.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Calculating Infinity
Nick: The first time I listened to this album, I lasted 30 seconds before I got a headache. I couldn’t comprehend what was going on, but it was a kairotic moment in my musical journey. There’s a frenetic energy there which I hadn’t heard in extreme metal at that point. Coupled with their live performances, it’s pretty hard to top the influence The Dillinger Escape Plan had on us musically and our live shows. We were lucky enough to share the stage with them for the New Zealand leg of their final ever world tour.
Cannibal Corpse – The Wretched Spawn
Tim: This album really took me by the balls in my early teens and gave me a relentless drive to be able to play music like that. Every track on the album is an absolute banger, with bone-crushing riffs from start to finish, and a nice bit of groove in some tracks. Just solid old school death metal. It has had a huge influence on me and my music taste, and probably the way I play drums too. I feel like it’s definitely at the roots for me.
Circle of Dead Children – Human Harvest
Stace: Human Harvest is violently aggressive and inhumanly brutal, but it doesn’t have all the post production bullshit that strips the flavour away. Vocally, CODC had the first “death metal” vocalist that actually scared me. I can imagine him gutturally narrating the apocalypse in real-time, laying waste to all living beings. This is the band whose palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti.
Catch Blindfolded and Led to the Woods live in Sydney on Friday October 12 and in Melbourne on Saturday October 13.