Friday, 26 February 2016

Bloodiest - "Bloodiest" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/01/2016
Label: Relapse Records


“Mesmerize” sets the tone for events to come. The band launch straight into a rumbling, menacing riff, like Tool jamming with The Jesus Lizard while Shellac look on approvingly. This track exemplifies what Bloodiest do so well on this LP; relentless repetition of a phrase, letting it slowly transform while building towards a furious climax. They manage to do this in a fluid, hypnotic fashion, avoiding the pitfalls of obvious quiet/loud dynamics.  There is a lot of great, heavy music around today, but it’s rare to hear something as fresh and compelling as this LP. Bloodiest have crafted an incredible piece of work here, challenging without being difficult and crushing without always resorting to amplification-overload.


“Bloodiest” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Mesmerize
2). The Widow
3). Condition
4). Broken Teeth
5). Mind Overlaps
6). He Is Disease
7). Separation
8). Suffer

The Review:
“Supergroups” inspire high expectations. In the case of Bloodiest’s new self-titled LP these preconceptions are met and then some. The Chicago band features current and former members of a diverse array of awesome acts such as Yakuza, Russian Circles, Minsk and 90 Day Men. As well as sounding like a perfectly proportioned mix of these other projects, the brilliance of this album eclipses all their previous work.

The record begins with the aptly titled “Mesmerize”, setting the tone for events to come. The band launch straight into a rumbling, menacing riff, like Tool jamming with The Jesus Lizard while Shellac look on approvingly. This track exemplifies what Bloodiest do so well on this LP; relentless repetition of a phrase, letting it slowly transform while building towards a furious climax. They manage to do this in a fluid, hypnotic fashion, avoiding the pitfalls of obvious quiet/loud dynamics.

Tracks like “Broken Teeth” and “He Is Disease” hit a perfect middle ground between weighty, metal attack and jagged, noise-rock angularity. The latter is the heaviest number here, melding huge Melvins riffs to the widescreen ambition of Swans with restless math-rock touches creeping in as time progresses.

The highlight of the album comes when Bloodiest venture furthest from the realms of metal. “The Widow” begins with a minimal bass and drums throb, soon joined by eerie acoustic guitar and piano. The track then slowly unfurls over its 8-minute duration as an epic, brooding slow-burn. Bruce Lamont’s vocals are strong throughout the album but they really come into their own here, his half-spoken croon, heightening the drama. The overall effect is like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds taking on the gothic darkness of Oxbow’s “Serenade in Red”.

There is a lot of great, heavy music around today, but it’s rare to hear something as fresh and compelling as this LP. Bloodiest have crafted an incredible piece of work here, challenging without being difficult and crushing without always resorting to amplification-overload.

Bloodiest” is available here



Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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