From the city of Chicago, famous for bands such as Macabre, Dance Club Massacre and Ministry, hails Bloodletter, and they’re eager to unleash their intense whirlwind upon humanity. In their own words “Bloodletter is out to teach lowly sinners that fast, melodic, Thrash Metal is here to stay and condemn all who listen to a damn good time !” After having established a solid live reputation in their home town, these guys wasted no time in releasing several EP’s and a first full-length album already. And now they’re back with more. Their new album ‘Funeral Hymns‘ features eleven tracks of raging thrash metal, but also some great mixes with death and crossover elements.
The guys combine a lot of different stylistic elements and seamlessly blend them together into their own unique sound. As an overall genre, I would describe it best as melodic thrash, but it’s more than that. Throughout the tracks, we’re seeing influences from all over the more heavy genres. There’s different influences of thrash, death and maybe some black, giving all songs their distinct traits. But it never seems like anything’s being forced. The track listing of the album lends itself to this nicely.
‘Absolution Denied‘ and ‘The Grim‘ let the album have an easy melodic start while establishing a hard sound already. Both are filled with great harmonies followed by heavy riffs which can’t help but bring forth excitement. Not to mention the great solo ‘Absolution Denied’ has to offer at the end. While everything going on with the guitars is very melodic, the fast drum beats and tight bass playing help to create an atmosphere which is both epic and aggressive.
Going further, things start to get a bit more intense and uptempo. ‘Funeral Bell‘ already starts flirting with a darker setting. While the lead guitar continues its distinct melodic style, the rhythm and bass start getting a bit more aggressive. It’s also gotten more crossover elements and things start to feel faster bit by bit. Next up, ‘Burnt Beyond Recognition‘ has a really strong start. It’s got more of this raw thrash sound, with some lead harmonies to spice everything up a bid more. And the vocals, bind it all together to drive it home.
‘Death Masks‘ continues on with this darker setting, while keeping it melodic still. At some points, everything just starts sounding a little more raw than before. Next on ‘Mark of Justice‘ is just pure energy. The intro and verse are hard and fast, yet the chorus is quite energetic and catchy. And the solo near the end perfectly complements this. It keeps in line with the chorus whilst becoming more evil sounding. ‘Blood, Bone & Ash‘ sticks to this trend of a smashing verse, followed by an energetic chorus. This track is the perfect followup.
Now that the tone is set, the next tracks ‘Guillotine‘, ‘Disinterment‘ and ‘Hang‘ are there to drive it home. These tracks are more and more aggressive and the riffs get faster and faster. We’re nearing the last track and it seems like Bloodletter really wants to show us that they still have more to show. So they have a last riff fest prepared for us.
‘I Am The End‘ (maybe an obvious title for the last track, but hey) threw me off a bit at first. It starts with a clean intro, so I thought it might be some kind of generic clean outro track. Like you commonly have on some album. But of course that’s not what these guys would. The intro is more to set up a general melody around which the rest of the song is structured. But once that’s done, the song is a great summary of the different blends from throughout the album.
I’ve very much enjoyed this album, as I hope you will. ‘Funeral Hymns‘ is Bloodletter‘s second full length album and it’s great to see that they’ve kept their distinct style from ‘Under The Dark Mark‘, while still having grown a bit as songwriters. And the audio quality of the recordings themselves has also improved immensely. Hopefully, these guys have a lot more to come in the future.
Release date : January 22, 2021
Label : Petrichor (Hammerheart Records)
- Absolution Denied
- The Grim
- Funeral Bell
- Burnt Beyond Recognition
- Death Masks
- Mark of Justice
- Blood, Bone & Ash
- I Am The End