The debut full-length album by Finnish Stoner Metal/Rock band.
The Finnish foursome plays their brand of music hard and heavy focusing on the power of the riff and an aggressive vocal style from vocalist Jason.
The nine songs here are rather angry. The music of this band is melodic and full of energy, staying far from those Stoner bands that uses a dusty and raw sound quality. Some parts sound modern and abrasive, but they have also some more melodic and musically accessible parts. Here everything is clear, with very good musical arrangements, and their musical influences are not locked in the past. Very good musical arrangements and the vocals are very good, using a fine diversity of tunes; the guitars are doing an excellent work on the riffs, the rhythmic kitchen is doing a fine job, guiding the tempos and giving the band a good musical range, and this all is fused to create a fine kind of music. The band creates a riff factory of guitar lines and ensure that Pete’s Bass and Mikko’s drums are straight in your face. With simplistic song structures and the focus placed heavily on the groove, Black .44 does a nice job bringing their anger out into each track. Jason’s vocals are far from perfect, but work very effectively on No Blanks.
The sound quality they got is very, very good. Their music sound clean and heavy in the due proportions, creating something that sound aggressive and full of energy, but with clearness to understand what the band is playing.
Songs like “The Red Saint” and “The Outlaw” are ass-kickers with infectious riff work and can be compared to a more modern Metallica at least as far as the guitar licks go. The comparisons stop there though. The energetic and powerful "Overcome" (with some modern touches and very good use of vocal tunes' variations), the almost commercial song "Into The Grace", and the slow and bitter "Born Wrong" can be said as their best moments, besides the album is entirely very good.
Overall, "No Blanks" is a great debut from a band up North. This band has a future!
Inverse Records, 2015 (INV178). Made in Finland. First press.
1. Overcome 03:57
2. Hometown Murderer 03:43
3. The Red Saint 04:47
4. Into the Grace 03:29
5. Born Wrong 03:56
6. The Outlaw 03:54
7. The Eyes Above 04:55
8. Shit Hits the Fan 04:15
9. From Right to Wrong 04:58
Total playing time: 37:54 min.