BLAAKYUM – Line of Fear
Lebanese thrash/ heavy metal band Blaakyum is a first for this journalist – as you don’t hear a lot of bands from the war torn country of Lebanon. Their second album "Line of Fear" has an aggressive yet melodic sensibility that makes these 9 songs quite addictive. Middle Eastern folk and tribal inflections aid the originality factor to certain tracks like "Religion of Peace" and the title track.
The clean vocals give more of an Anthrax feel while the music traverses everything from Exodus stomp, Primal Fear power, to Forbidden and Heathen oriented crunch at times – proving the quartet are very adept at their instruments. Occasionally a balls-out arrangement allows Blaakyum to just cut loose and rage – "Wicked Revelation" probably the most aggressive, although vocally some Anselmo-ish rasp comes into the vocals for closing bonus track "Riot Against Riot".
Considering the environmental factors, Blaakyum should be proud of their accomplishments. "Line of Fear" is a strong heavy thrash record, wearing a lot of their cultural heritage on their sleeves, and as such isn’t your typical metal album to come out in 2016.