It’s all change on the Bloodshot Dawn front. Since the release of their second album, 2014’s “Demons” lone founder member, guitarist / singer Josh McMorran has recruited Canadian shredder Morgan Reid, drummer James Stewart (also of Vader and Divine Chaos) and bass player Giacomo Gastaldi. This devastating loss of staff could’ve seriously de-railed a lot of bands but Josh is obviously made of the right stuff and he wasted no time in getting the lads together to record “Reanimation” which also features some special guests including Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore), Paul Wardingham, Ken Sorceron (Abigail Williams, The Faceless) & Mendel Bij De Leij (Aborted).

The addition of Morgan Reid has clearly had quite the influence as while this is still the super aggressive thrashy death metal we love from Bloodshot Dawn, there’s been a heavy injection of melody which is obvious right off the bat in opener “Seared Earth” a total blazer with some terrific drumming, subtle use of keyboard and leads that wouldn’t be out of place on an Arch Enemy track.

What’s really apparent here is the amazing production job, so crystal clear and punchy, this is exactly what a 21st century metal album should sound like. Josh’s vocals too are a, more often than not, intelligible mix of growls and shrieks that suit the tunes perfectly and never sound strained.

As well as adding more melody there’s a very atmospheric feel to most of the tracks too. This is difficult to achieve within this genre but the lads have managed to give songs like “Shackled” “Survival Evolved” and “Battle For The Omniverse” real identity and feeling. Again, this is partly down to the stunning mix but mostly down to the massive improvement in song writing over the previous album “Demons”.

This is a great record and, for a progressive death metal album, it’s totally immersive. Never showing off the bands technicality for the sake of it, the ever impressive lead work is totally matched to the structure of the songs and, unlike a lot of bands, adds to the experience rather than it being an excuse for the players to show off.

Fully recommended

(8/10 Mark Eve)