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Monday 30 November 2020

Reviews: Bloodhounds, Within The Ruins, Dethonator, I Am Pariah (Matt & Liam)

Bloodhounds: Drip Fed (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

Reading hard rockers Bloodhounds are a very modern heavy rock act. Their musical influences don't stray further back than the 90's with hints of Alice In Chains-like melodic grunge coming through but they also bring the quirky vibes of Faith No More, the massive grooves of Audioslave/RATM and even a bit of the American radio sound of bands such as Godsmack and Alter Bridge. On this debut album they start as they mean to go on, capturing the fire of their incendiary live show on a record that rarely takes its foot of the gas, driven by a hefty rhythm section of Tom Hawkins (bass), Mike Dentry (drums) and James Percival (rhythm guitar) Drip Fed kicks out some valley sized grooves (though any presence of a silver monolith is purely coincidental) this backroom supplying the grungy alt rock that is quite a rarity these days. 

Add to this the explosive lead breaks and solos from Jack Meaden who is part Slash, part Tom Morello and the keening yet angsty vocals of Joey Newell and you get a very impressive set of songs on this debut album with songs like Intermittent Funk doing a Ronseal by merging hip shaking rhythms to crunchy rock riffs, while Take Me Back has an insistence I haven't heard since Heaven's Basement. When you play the record for first time you are lulled in by the hazy She's Been Drinking Artwork a song that has some audio cues to Velvet Revolver/Scott Weiland, it's a slow burner that shifts into the heavy bottom end of Intermittent Funk which I mentioned earlier, you get the feeling from Bloodhounds of a band who evolve as this debut progresses. You get a punkiness from 1909 as those (early) Alter Bridge sounds creep on Into The Dark and Hollow and the vocals get rawer too. Drip Fed is a debut record with a huge swagger, colossal riffs, brimming with attitude and songwriting from a bygone era that is often overlooked from history of rock/metal. If a more alternative/heavy grunge sound is what gets your engine running then sniff out Bloodhounds. 9/10

Within The Ruins: Black Heart (eOne Heavy) [Liam True]

On their sixth studio album & first record in three years, the Metalcore group have surpassed any quandaries that all they were capable of making was Metalcore with a few Prog influences thrown in for good measure. What the band have in fact done, is taken their previous formula and cranked the Prog & Djent up to a 1000%. Black Heart spans 45 minutes, but by the end you’ll be pleading for more with the talent the band has oozed out on this record. The guitar tone of Joe Cocchi as he frantically executes his blistering riffs and solos proves that he’s not a guitarist to be trifled with on songs like Deliverance, Blackheart & Hollow.

The bombarding bass of Paolo Galang penetrate you on instrumental show off track Eighty Sixed while his clean vocals soar in the background on tracks like Domination & Open Wounds. Drummer Kevin McGuill is an absolute animal as he punishes the kit with his brute force. And we have vocalist Steve Tinnon who shatters the earth to the core with his harsh gutturals and unforgiving screeches through the record, making his studio debut with the band a heavy blast of putrid vocals. From start to finish the album is a Djenty/Metalcore masterpiece that brings the best elements of the previous works into one. Being the vile offspring of After The Burial & Veil Of Maya with more aggression & show off guitar skills than breakdowns. Albeit it’s a unremorseful effort that leaves you no time to breathe. Only to be pounded. 8/10

Dethonator: Rage Against The Sun - Part Two (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

Ah the East Midlands...a fertile breeding ground for heavy metal and while Dethonator trace their roots back to here they are now firmly established as a London band, with nearly 20 years of experience they are proudly wearing their influences and cultural heritage on their sleeves with their classic metal influenced sound that has a more grandiose theatrical tone. Following on from Part 1 back in February 2019 Rage Against The Sun - Part Two continues the concept album based around Bram Stoker's Dracula, starting the record with Harker's journey toward the Castle in the deepest darkest edges of Transylvania (For The Dead Travel Fast). It begins a narrated journey through one long track that is split into seven individual cuts with a horror-themed narrative. Musically it's pretty standard heavy/speed/thrash metal stuff that sits somewhere between King Diamond and Metallica. Tris' vocals are strong and his guitar is in glorious unison with H, especially on Transylvanian Ways as the boiler room of Adz (bass/growls) and Johnny Mo (drums) drive along this cinematic album that is full of bombast, ideal for lovers of King Diamond, Alice Cooper, Angel Witch and Demon, Rage Against The Sun - Part Two is a grandiose second part to this sprawling literary concept album. 7/10  

I Am Pariah: Charm Before The Storm [Liam True]

Nu-Metal with tinged elements of Pop Punk & Metalcore is the only way to describe I Am Pariah. When you look at the album artwork and the bands name you think of the band to be a bit heavier, at least I did, but the melodies of the band backed by the small moment of heaviness they provide prove to be a joy to hear. The trio from Stoke-On-Trent have already released an EP back in 2018 to much acclaim which led to them being on tour with Light The Torch & Phoxjaw. Now fast forward two years later we have another out put from the band. This time another EP but only with 3 songs and clocking in at about 12 minutes leaves you begging for more from the band as the riffs from guitarists Dave Snell & Steve Westerholm create an atmosphere most bands can dream of having on a full length, and the band have created it in three tracks. Vocalist Benjamin James hits hard with his soaring vocals that combine the record together like glue forming the wonderful Pop Punk-Metalcore taste with his background growls. On their own each band member has proved they have the skills to make a good sounding record. Bu together, the band is a powerhouse that will be taking the underground by storm, as lead single Sicko is an addictive song that you’ll be singing to yourself for weeks. Short, sweet and to the point, Charm Before The Storm is just that, a charm in the storm that is 2020. 9/10

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