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Blindfolded and Led to the Woods

Two years on from their acclaimed third studio album, Nightmare Withdrawals, Christchurch, New Zealand’s BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS have returned and intend to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of extreme music in 2023. The quintet will be releasing their fourth full-length, and Prosthetic Records debut, Rejecting Obliteration on May 19.

In the wake of Nightmare Withdrawals’ breakout success, which garnered praise from both fans and press alike, BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS commenced production of Rejecting Obliteration in November 2021, spreading the sessions out until February 2022, with a crystalline vision for the next chapter in their storied thirteen year existence. After shedding the skin of the band’s formative years and reenvisioning their approach to their craft, BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS in 2023 are a far darker and perceptive prospect.

Navigating cycles of abuse and trauma, whilst actively reaching for resolution through resilience, the aptly titled Rejecting Obliteration is a testament to and declaration of endurance through hardships and loss. Lyrically conceived by Stace Fifield (vocals) and Stuart Henley-Minchington (guitars and vocals), Rejecting Obliteration’s ten tracks share a common narrative thread of finding identity and light outside of personal hurt and psychological harm. The pair’s primary focus on inner strength and resilience serves as an unwavering foundation of who BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS are in essence.

BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS’ penchant for converging avant-garde progressive metal with caustic technicality and grinding intensity remains intact on tracks such as Hallucinative Terror and The Waves, thanks in large part to Nick Smith (bass), Henley- Minchington and Ben Atkinson (guitar)’s intuitive playing styles that come from well over a decade of friendship and life together in the band. Elsewhere, album closer Caustic Burns seethes with dissonant chords and a commandeering performance from Fifield on vocals – whose presence looms large over Rejecting Obliteration’s more harrowing cuts, whilst conveying a rare vulnerability for technical death metal on the album’s more diaphanous passages.

Upon completing the recording of Rejecting Obliteration, BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS sought the mixing expertise of Samuel K Sproull in Melbourne, Australia before handing mastering duties to Grammy Award winner Alan Douches at West West Side Music. The results of the technical team behind the album led to a production sound that retains the more barbarous aspects of the band’s sound and breathes life into the group’s ever growing progressive inclinations. Rejecting Obliteration’s cover art neatly ties together the core theme of cyclical trauma thanks to a commissioned piece from Eliran Kantor (Thy Art is Murder, Psycroptic, Archspire and more), designed to create an endless loop when applied to a printed surface.

Whilst despairing in its subject matter Rejecting Obliteration refuses to concede to a predestination of further anguish, opting instead to shun all notions of defeat, which in and of itself is vital to BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS’ long fought for and claimed identity.

BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS is:

Stace Fifield – Vocals

Stuart Henley-Minchington – Guitars, Vocals

Ben Atkinson – Guitars

Nick Smith – Bass

Tim Stewart – Drums, Percussion (recording only)