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Bloodbound – Unholy Cross (CD)

Bloodbound
Unholy Cross
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 07 March 2011, 9:28 PM

I have to hand it for the Swedish BLOODBOUND, they really did something else this time around with their new album "Unholy Cross", their first release under their new German label, AFM Records. This fourth album brought back memories of the greatest days of Heavy Metal, the 80s era. Furthermore, "Unholy Cross" introduced the newly recruited vocalist of BLOODBOUND, Patrick "Pata" Johansson from the neighbour band DAWN OF SILENCE.

When I mentioned that "Unholy Cross" brought me back memories of 80s Metal, I wasn't joking. In comparison to the band's previous exciting album, "Tabula Rasa", BLOODBOUND, perhaps by the decision of the Olsson brothers and Fredrik Bergh at the helm, strayed from their early path and went old school on the counts of the material and production. On "Tabula Rasa" the band made a great mixture of traditional Heavy / Power Metal with the likes of modernity. However, on "Unholy Cross", the spikes from the former where there more or less, but it seemed as if the latter was bounded to be a sort of a tribute to the 80s. Of course that BLOODBOUND didn't cover any band but their influences where very clear for observation. On "Unholy Cross" profound groups as IRON MAIDEN, HELLOWEEN, RUNNING WILD and HAMMERFALL amongst others, ruled the night. In overall, I found what was done here as a great honour for a wonderful decade.

Nevertheless, I was rather baffled regarding the originality of BLOODBOUND throughout the release. On the course of the songs, especially the choruses and even some of the main riffages, it was hard not to miss that those were performed by so many groups that an 80s fan will probably lose touch with his counting of how many of those riffs were already written and played. Moreover, I also found some of the lyrics to be quite banal while some of them are without a shred of power because of overuse. A good example is the song "Brothers Of War" that serve as the album's main power ballad. I would have thought that BLOODBOUND, with their ability to do wonders will slam their way once again as they did before. On "Unholy Cross" they were on their way but somewhat missed the point of doing an 80s derived album. As for Pata's vocals, I think he still have a way to go to reach the highlight of Urban Breed, yet his crooked voice mixed with high pitch shrieks, made him a promise

Whether BLOODBOUND did better or less didn't hide the fact that "Unholy Cross" still have some good stuff to offer to anyone who treasures the 80s. Tracks as "Drop The Bomb", "Moria", "Unholy Cross", "The Ones We Left Behind", "The Dark Side Of Life" and "In For The Kill", are catchy, pretty much straightforward and to the point. Probably what made those less banal than their overall image on several points were the melodic and fairly composite bridges. These sections helped quite a lot. In summary, "Unholy Cross" is a good release, yet could have better than a plain Heavy / Power Metal album.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Moria
2. Drop The Bomb
3. The Ones We Left Behind
4. Reflections Of Evil
5. In For The Kill
6. Together We Fight
7. The Dark Side Of Life
8. Brothers Of War
9. Message From Hell
10. In The Dead Of Night
11. Unholy Cross
Lineup:
Patrik Johansson - Vocals
Tomas Olsson - Guitars
Henrik Olsson - Guitars
Anders Broman - Bass
Fredrik Bergh - Keyboards
Pelle Akerlind - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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