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Bloodgood - Dangerously Close

Dangerously Close
by Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco at 09 December 2013, 7:29 PM

Let us all stand together for the return of BLOODGOOD just in time for their 30th Anniversary. Just like STRYPER for whom guitarist Oz Fox plays for both legendary acts, these Christian Metal missionaries have been delivering the frontline detonation and fighting the battle of the flesh for decades, praying that their kingdom may come. Honestly, they just sincerely know how to keep shakin' it and how to rock the theater of salvation.

Les Carlsen sounds just as good as he did in the 80’s, and Michael continues to write some quality material, true to his convictions and beliefs. It is a blessing to also have Paul Jackson back in action, as he was such an intricate member when “Do Or Die” David Zaffiro departed.

I have to admit, back in the day, I was not a strong supporter of the band, as I disliked the whiny vocals of Les, and I found the music to be too simple and derivative. I was much more into BELIEVER, BRIDE, TOURNIQUET, RECON, NEON CROSS, SOLDIER, SERAIAH, SACRED WARRIOR, MASS, GUARDIAN, DELIVERANCE (who also reformed recently and are releasing new material this month), etc. I definitely adored Christian Metal, and still do to this day, even if the message means little to me. However, going back now and revisiting the first four albums, I find myself feeling familiar with all the music and lyrics, and just loving the songs and even some of the meaningful melodies. Damn, if they did not make their mark with original ineluctable material like LEVITICUS.

One of the problems I had with some of the proto-Christian acts was that they sounded too much like the other more successful Metal bands of their time. I realize that it says in the letters to Paul, that he becomes all things to all people to win some for the Lord. I learned this listening to PETRA “Out In The Streets”. There was just too much moral mimicking: BARREN CROSS sounded like MAIDEN, WHITE CROSS sounded like RATT, SAINT like PRIEST, TRYTAN like RUSH, etc. Now in retrospect, I can accept that BLOODGOOD were quite innovative, and very theatrical, and never lame. It is no wonder MORTIFICATION covered “Black Snake”.

Who would have ever thought members of MEGADETH would now be leaders of Christian Ministries? I am reading the new Dave Ellefson book, and it is quite bizarre. Man cannot live on bread alone, and for the Christian Metal Milieu, Jesus is the Bread of Life! I am no longer bothered by all the religious crucial fiction, but I do still strongly support the bands who believe as the world keeps movin' around.

I was so hoping the new STRYPER would be a return to form, but I found it to be lacking in many respects, and not up to my expectations. This is why I am caught between a rock and a hard place with this anguish and painstaking effort which comes like its title “Dangerously Close” to not being a Metal album. Sure you have some excellent songs like “Lamb Of God”, “Run Away”, “Bread Alone”, and “Man In The Middle”, but there is also some sonic experimentation with other genres like Reggae and even a Pop-oriented leaning to acts like NEWSBOYS. Overall, the songs are well-written and Christian Rock fans will truly be pleased with the heaven on earth atmosphere. However, if like me you are wondering what have they done, and if you are searching for that “Detonation” or “Self-Titled” sound you may feel left out in the darkness, alone in deciding.

Overall, this is a spiritual work created by holy men, who also know how to play their instruments. I can hold on to my principles, but I cannot give them a seven. The songs are just not as engaging as a song like “Seven” or “Hey! You”. I will assert that anything new from the band is a welcomed grace. The presence of the band is truly felt, but overall after several rotations, when it comes to the enjoyment of the album as a whole, it's alright, nothing new, fresh, or revealing. If you have not witnessed their earlier efforts, once you do, you may never be the same, but hey, you owe it to yourself to get to know the band, and discover what's following the craving for Classic Christian Metal.

3 Star Rating

1. Lamb Of God
2. Run Away
3. Child On Earth
4. I Will
5. Bread Alone
6. Pray
7. I Can Hold On
8. Run The Race
9. Father Father
10. Man In The Middle
11. Crush Me
12. In The Trenches
Les Carlsen – Vocals
Paul Jackson – Guitars
Oz Fox – Guitars
Michael Bloodgood – Bass
Kevin Whisler – Drums
Record Label: Doolittle Group


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Edited 27 March 2023

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