Rising Records 2011
1.Hyperchrist 2.Served In Silence 3.Existence 4.Organised Genocide
5.Devestate 6.Regression 7.Against The Tide 8.Persecution 9.The Devil's Look
10.Ablution War 11.The Hare Effect
Soft acoustic guitars introduce us to Newcastle based BLOODWRATH before pounding drums and raging guitars open up in a fury of modern thrash tinged death metal. ‘Hyperchrist’ is just that, thrash tinged death metal with a really heavy dose of groove, very reminiscent of Germanys own purveyors of the said genre Dew Scented. There’s a heavy dose of melody introduced through the use of lead guitars which gives the track an epic feel in places. There’s a real sense of urgency to this opener, the band appearing to be in a rush to rip your face off! ‘Served In Silence’ begins in similar fashion as the opener, but with a slightly heavier death metal feel. Obligatory breakdowns are introduced and when played alone are the same as every breakdown ever heard; however, when a melodic lead guitar is introduced over the top it takes on a whole new feel and stops the track slipping into boring breakdown mediocrity. ‘Existence’ is another furious example of melodic death/thrash metal, the urgency returning to the bands song writing. Lead guitars are once again used effectivelly to re-introduce some melody in amongst the frantic proceedings. The ending to the track takes on a very slow, sludgy feel, creeping along at a crawl and with the added guttural vocals really gives off a nasty, but good death metal vibe.
‘Organised Genocide’ is another good solid example of melodic death metal, but for all the excellent musicianship on display the band are not offering anything different from what has already been seen in the three previous tracks, opting for the tried and tested sound, slow-fast song structures repeated predictably. ‘Devestate’ is horribly similar to the last track, it’s all beginning to sound ‘samey’ and very safe and the pace of the songs isn’t helping matters either. Slow to mid-paced with the odd blast beat thrown in to remind you that the band are death metal. The urgency seen earlier in the album has all but disappeared which is very disappointing as this is when the band are at their most appealing. ‘Regression’ rescues the album slightly, more variation to the track, faster drums introduced more frequently which is always a welcome turn of events! The band mention in their bio that their videos have been played on Scuzz, it’s easy to see why. There’s no real danger, or extremity to their music, no matter how much they label themselves as death metal. TV friendly for sure. What seems to be letting this album down, stopping it from truly having that killer punch is the drumming which tends to utilise the same drum beats for the slow riffs, the same beats for the mid-paced riffs and so on. Not necessarily the drummers fault, as a lot of the riffs sound similar, but when it all begins to sound the same it's time to be more adventurous, then the songs would surely punch you full force in the face as I’m sure they are fully intended to.
‘Against The Tide’ thankfully see’s the urgency seen earlier reappear along with a heavy dose of catchiness which all makes for a welcome return to form, melody and groove at the forefront of the death metal assault. The lead guitars extremely catchy here and definitely get the head nodding. ‘Persecution’ hits you in the face with a thrash laced punch, opening up with surprising venom, the band sounding especially pissed off here and definitely sounding more brutal than ever. The album is beginning to rescue itself after the ‘normality’ seen in the last few tracks, seeming intent on ending this disc on a high. ‘The Devil's Look’ is another one of the ‘TV friendly’ tracks, the safe option once again preferred and even introducing spoken vocals as opposed to the guttural death metal vocals used. Seems a strange thing to introduce for just one track and for such a short time span. It feels exceptionally out of place and really uneseccary. 'Ablution War' is a crushing track, the pace really slowed down in places, returning to a really nasty death metal feel. Mixed with some catchy guitar breaks it all makes for quite a god mix and a great end effect. Ending the album is ‘The Hate Effect’, another run-of-the-mill affair, nothing we haven’t already witnessed and sadly ending the album in a mediocre fashion. What promised to be a healthy slab of modern thrash laced death metal actually turned out to be rather a disappointment. When Bloodwrath do ‘it’, they do it well and show real signs of promise. Unfortunately the band seem to lose focus and sometimes settle for the ‘safe option’, maybe intentional to appeal to a wider audience other than extreme metal fans. It’s all extremely well played, the production is excellent and with a real kick, but that can’t hide the ‘normality’ on offer. Promising lots but sadly delivers little extremity. Disappointing but will definitely appeal to some.
6 out of 10