Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Blood Farmers - Headless Eyes (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/03/2014
Label: Resurrection Records/PATAC Records

‘Headless Eyes’ CD/LP track listing:

1). Gun Shot (06:17)
2). Headless Eyes (10:49)
3). The Creeper (04:51)
4). Thousand-Yard Stare (06:34)
5). Night of the Sorcerers (10:15)
6). The Road Leads to Nowhere (David Hess Cover)(05:59)

Bloodfarmers is:

David Szulkin | Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Tad Leger | Drums
Eli Brown | Vocals

A little bit Corrosion of Conformity, a little bit Black Sabbath Vol 4, and a lot of St Vitus, and Pentagram.  That’s pretty much what you'll get with Blood Farmers' album "Headless Eyes". Those of you who prefer Speed Metal, and lightning fast tunes with brain-smashing blistering guitar pyrotechnics can just stop reading now, and return to mastering that Dragonforce song on Guitar Hero.  You need not apply!!

However, if Dark Chocolate Covered Doomy Goodness and Soul Crushing Guitar Tones is your thing, stick with me.  As mentioned, the first track "Gut Shot" is a pretty standard Goo Goo Cluster of Doom Metal. This one does not make the often fatal mistake of going for ten minutes, relying mainly on one riff. The second track, the title song, "Headless Eyes" stands out much more.  Here, we have some voice in the background which must be taken from a movie or TV show. You know what I mean.
Think Iron Maidens "The Prisoner", or White Zombie. This voice continues to pop up now and then and almost comment on the mood of the song, which is clearly the best part. Headless Eyes DOES paint a nice dark and spooky portrait. 

I think what I like about this song is that it contains all the classic touches all doom bands use, the "Iommi Guitar Tones", the heavy plodding drums, and subtle vocal harmonies. Not to mention a good ripping solo. That’s something I think more Doom bands should use. It breaks up the monotony of a slow lumbering doom riff, which can be an Achilles heel.  So, two tracks in, and so far, so good.

Track Three "The Creeper" starts out with Bass Wah.  We loves Bass Wah when it's all dark and fuzzy. Oh Yes, Precious.  Soon comes the wailing solo riding over it, and some faint heavy riffs in the backdrop. A nice, almost pleasant and Stoner-ey kind of mood piece, this of course, is to set you up for that moment when the guitars and bass and drums start smashing your skull. Everybody does that.  It doesn't stay like that long, and then goes into a much more rocking melody, which while it did kind of remind me of the second half of Black Sabbath's ‘Symptom of the Universe’, also shows that Blood Farmers don't use the standard Doom Cookie Cutter when songwriting.  I appreciate that. This is a pretty nice instrumental song.

All in all, I'm gonna give this one a thumbs up. A bigger one if you are a doom fan.
It turns out; Blood Farmers have a pretty good pedigree, since forming in '89 and performed with some of the bands I've previously mentioned.  This, no doubt, has influenced their sound, which can also mean that a band can get pigeon-holed into a certain genre. A good doom band doesn't just dive into the plodding, low droning melodies and stay there for ten minutes, expecting you to pretend not to get bored after 7.  A good doom band gives you some changes in the song, or a new heavy driving riff for a few measures or a wailing solo to perk up the bleak soul-crushing landscape of the song.

Despite the increasing obsession to categorize every band into a genre, which is something I intensely dislike, I’m going to be a little hypocritical and say, "Yes. This is Doom Metal." However, in case you missed the point I've been hammering on about, Blood Farmers occasionally climb out of that labelled jar, and offer bits and pieces to make things interesting all the way through each song. I really like that. There is some impressive guitar work to be heard here, and if you dismiss this album because of the genre, you'll miss out.

Blood Farmers are a good Doom band, and in my opinion, "Headless Eyes" is a good album.  I'm hoping they come around to my neck of the woods. I think I need to see them live.

Words by: Mike Borsum

You can pick up a CD here and vinyl here

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