I think it’s fair to say that up to here UK melodic death thrashers Bloodshot Dawn have been executing a textbook perfect ‘how to grow your band’ plan. Demo, EP, well received self released debut, lots of good to great gigs and buzz to back it up and somewhat excellent growing fanbase because of it. Add in solid social media presence and spot on visuals (cool name, great logo, superb cover) and you can’t fail to at least have heard their name. So yeah that’s why I asked for this when it showed up in the Ave Noctum bunker. And the best thing is that all those ‘things done right’ suddenly have an explanation that isn’t cynical calculation; this little kickstarter beast simply sprays enthusiasm like a hyperactive puppy sprays water after a swim, and it’s hard not to get drenched yourself.
Still; reviewer’s head on, Giz. What do you get behind that excellent cover besides enthusiasm?
It’s a bit like the Spanish Inquisition at times. You know: “Their two main weapons are ferocity, melody and technicality… No, their three main weapons are ferocity, melody, technicality and fanatical devotion to the cause. Their four…. ” But joking aside they are a band who on the first couple of listens you keep tripping over things, going “yeah they’ve got that nailed down too.. ” If you have, like me, somehow never heard them they have that polished cyber steel technicality to them: Hard kicking machine gun drumming and lots of melodic, widdly lead work over the chopping, furious riffs and tempo changes; though thanks to the through the roof energy levels it never sounds sterile. They are also hyper-melodic but with more claws than hooks. It’s kind of Insomnium and a nailbomb inside a tornado. For me as well there are solid nods back to 90s metal, too. Fear Factory with the hints of semi-industrial drum ‘n’ riff and the hardcore vocal interplay. The kind of bands that took a shotgun (blast) to the scene after Machine Head dropped their debut. Oh yeah and they’re as tight as that bolt you skinned your knuckles on last time there was a frost. But you will always come back to their melody. It’s almost power metal territory, the great lift off notes, the frantic picking and hammer-ons. I mean don’t forget the brutality, sure: They can get as guttural as anyone such as on the excellent ‘Human Void’, and there’s nothing light or flyaway about this lot. But you are never far away from that melody. Never. Take the wonderful title track ‘Demons’: It’s a little akin to Amon Amarth and early 3 Inches Of Blood whiplashed into overdrive by a melody mad Kill II This and the muscular backup of One Man Army and the Undead Quartet.
Downsides? I can only think of a couple. One is the obvious/pointless – if you don’t like or get melodic deaththrash Bloodshot Dawn are a bad place to start because they are it in extremes. The other is that it strangely isn’t casual music: Try half listening (unless you’re just thrashing out at a gig) and it’s all just a sawn-off to the face, but commit and the subtleties on ‘Consequence Complex’ or ‘Inadequacy’ will shine through.
Frankly though this is just all shades of excellent. Maybe I’d like to see them try a slow grinder, just to see… Maybe sometimes I’d like the odd song with less going on, but this is their style. Century Media or Nuclear Blast should be in a pit fight to sign these guys off the back of Demons. The rest of us can just continue to bounce off the walls. Energy, talent, determination, aggression, pure serious metal fun; the UK has some serious across-the-genres metal talent these days and Bloodshot Dawn have just barrelled their way into the vanguard.