BloodsoakedWell this is a treat! North Carolina’s Bloodsoaked have been kicking around playing some awesome technical death metal since 2006. They are a project helmed by Peter Hasselbrack, ably assisted on this release by Joseph Darling on 2nd guitar and. This 9 track album is their 5th release and consists of 3 new tracks, 2 covers (more on them in a minute) and 4 live cuts.

Anyone who’s read my ramblings before will know that I hate technicality for the sake of it. Showing off does not = brutality nor does it necessarily make for good songs. This is where Bloodsoaked triumph by concentrating on ‘purely old school, no frills, straight forward, skull crushing Death Metal in the most raw and primitive form!’ Wise words!

Want some slamming breakdowns – then Dying Fetus, Devourment and Amputated nail that. Want a load of techno-wankery then spin your Obscura / Necrophagist cd’s. What Peter does is nail a classic death metal vibe with some proper death metal vocals (none of that pig squeally bollocks here).

The 3 original tracks, ‘Devouring’, ‘Abomination’ & ‘Religious Apocalypse’ are all premium quality death metal in the vein of Deicide (‘Devouring’ wouldn’t sound out of place on any of their last 4 records) with incredibly fast & precise riffing and pounding drums. ‘Abomination’ is slower, heavier and a blend of some of the more crushing of Cannibal Corpse’s later material with ‘Blessed Are The Sick’ era Morbid Angel. The title track is likewise slower still and while not quite up to the intensity of the previous two belters, has a crushing bottom end that leaves you feeling beaten up…….. but up next are the two covers…..

Now if you’re of a certain vintage (late 30’s early 40’s) you’ll remember the days of glam & hair metal, perhaps with fondness (I do….. despite owning a Tigertailz record) or disgust. You just can’t argue with some of the classic glam rock songs and Bloodsoaked obviously agree by covering two of my utter fave guilty pleasures……..’Shake Me’ by Cinderella and Ratt’s ‘You’re In Love’. Adding a dose of extra chunk & crunch to the riffs and obviously some brutal DM vocals yet keeping the widdly solos in otherwise faithful renditions. Now this’ll probably have the DM elitist nobs spitting feathers but for me? Fucking brilliant! Sure-fire dancefloor fillers (and eyebrow raisers) in any metal club. Well done lads!

The four live tracks  culled from the bands back catalogue sound killer and are a sweet addition. The band, despite being essentially Peter’s project are obviously tighter than a nun’s chuff live and with a bit of luck we’ll be seeing them in the UK soon.

(8/10 Mark Eve)