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Bloody Hell - Album Review: Blood Metal

13 Oct 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

Bloody Hell (I mean, even the name is awesome. I love a really good band name, and 'Bloody Hell' is one of the best Metal band names I've ever heard) are from Christchurch, which as we all know, is a seething hotbed of musical talent. Formed in 2019 by vocalist Alex and guitarist Josh, the lineup was completed with the addition of drummer Victor, and finally the recruitment of bassist Nik. The quartet are a powerhouse of frantic fury, a blistering onslaught of "a mixture of Black/Thrash Metal, and Hardcore D-Beat Punk". 

In terms of musical proficiency, this band are absolute monsters. Alex's vocals alternate between a guttural, rasping growl that brought Jeff Walker of Carcass to mind, and rich, powerful clean vocals that provide a unique contrast to the growl, and create an entirely different dynamic. Josh is a masterful guitarist, with a wickedly fast and precise right hand. He puts the 'riff' in 'ter-riff-yingly good' and has a tone that would make Beelzebub sit up and beg. Nik is also the bassist in an Iron Maiden tribute band, and he nails Steve Harris' parts. That influence (and the skill involved) is clear with what he brings to the table here. Victor must be supremely fit, to be able to drum an entire set of this stuff when they perform live. His break-neck paced drumming, combined with Nik's bass playing, often made me think of the first two Iron Maiden albums when that punk influence was still creeping in, and Clive Burr still occupied the drum throne.

Blood Metal clocks in at a little under 44 minutes, and its nine tracks will drag you to hell and back, but you'll have a really good time along the way. Things kick off with a short instrumental track of brooding atmosphere, aptly merely titled Intro, and then Wolfman bursts howling forth (quite literally, there is the mournful baying of a lycanthrope before the lyrics start) with all of the snarling menace you'd expect from a band called Bloody Hell singing about a werewolf. I keep hearing distinct NWOBHM vibes with this one, too. Fields of Blood continues the barrage, smashing out of the gate like a rabid pitbull. Gravespawn brings some deliciously thrashy chugginess, followed by the straight-forward, balls-to-the-wall Metal intro of Vae Victus, which then slows right down into a triumphant and sludgy groove. My personal favourite is up next, Death Rider has a borderline disgusting breakdown at around the halfway point, I would give good odds that live, this would go off like nothing else, like a ton of raw fish in the desert, this would go off sick. Next up, Savage Gaul grabs you by the throat with its blood-stained claws and refuses to let go, a raucous rip-snorter. One of the shorter tracks, Obsessed with Knives is dark, punky insanity with a vocal performance straight from the pits of Hell. Then, the sheer epic glory of the nearly seven and a half minutes of the title track, with Bloody Hell making it perfectly clear they aren't done with you just yet, bringing things to a slow, dramatic close whilst tortured souls wail in the murky background.

I'd suggest that Blood Metal has something for pretty much anyone who likes Metal, no matter your sub-genre preference. This is a band who knows what they're doing, and they do it with precision and skill. You can support them on Bandcamp here. Go worship at their altar, I dare you.

 

About Bloody Hell

Photo Credit: Phantomfotograf




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Bloody Hell

Releases

Blood Metal
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Fields of Blood Demo
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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