Many things about 3Mind Blight make his music a joy to listen to and write about. He is a master at collaboration, his songs often bringing in gorgeous female vocal lines to perfectly balance his deeper, darker tones. He is also an astute genre hopper, creating music that is built of familiar elements – rock muscle, bluesy textures, gothic tones, ambient drifts, dance grooves – but assembling them into something that is forward thinking rather than backwards glancing, a step into a bright sonic future rather than a revelry of past glories. There is also a perfect balance of atmosphere and anticipation, poise and polish. And his latest single, This Is Not The End, perfectly sums up these elements and abilities.
It is a big song, dense and delicious, it is powerful and poignant, but it stays clear of the cliches typically employed by creators of such anthemic and epic music. There are no major sonic punches, instead a slow and sonorous build towards glorious crescendoes. It isn’t volume that creates the impact but rather a tight weave of depth-charge bass lines and spacious, punctuating back beats. And the ebb and flow of the boy/girl vocals and the wash of heavenly harmonies that these sit on are glorious to behold, Mike Boucher’s brooding tones perfectly balanced by Samantha T’s spiralling deliveries.
As always, the music is big but not bombastic, dark but avoiding any gothic theatrics, muscular but never descending into the more-is-more showboating of the metal fraternity. There is, as ever, a sense of control and perfect pace, restraint rather than the unrefined race to the finish line that hampers most rock bands; it is brooding yet never wallowing in self-pity. This is Not the End is epic and anthemic in every sense of the word.
It is always a pleasure when something by 3Mind Blight lands in the intray, but with This Is Not The End, he has raised even his own very high musical benchmarks. So, of course, the big question is, how on earth do you follow a song like this? I can’t wait to find out.