Blindfolded and Led to the Woods - Rejecting Obliteration - Sand with Black & Orange Swirl

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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.

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.