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Bloodphemy - In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood
by Liam Easley at 06 May 2019, 9:23 PM

The Mediterranean is a breeding place for the most brutal of all Death Metal, and every once in a while, that sound slips through the cracks and lands in another country somewhere around the world. Netherland’s BLOODPHEMY is one of these acts, and they have recently released their second album, “In Cold Blood”.

The album this reminds me of the most is “Cast the First Stone” by HOUR OF PENANCE. It’s a brand of Death Metal that is just flirting with being labelled as Brutal Death Metal. The sound is chug-y with a sense of melody, however, unlike HOUR OF PENANCE, BLOODPHEMY lack technicality.

This album in particular is one of those uncommon ones that really frustrates me. There are moments where I am moshing around my small dorm room because it’s so heavy, but then there are moments where it’s just not good at all. I want to love this album because it truly gets my heart rate going, but it’s so hard to when certain moments appear.

What I want to touch on first is “A Barbarous Murder,” a song which is actually one of my highlights. While my favorite moments of this album mostly appear on this track, I can’t help but despise the use of natural harmonics at the main structure of a riff. I notice the guitarist doing this a couple of times, and it is quite annoying. While natural harmonics can be a nice element, they are not good to base a riff off of.

This is also seen on “Mental Atrophy,” a song that has a very strong opener only to go into poor riff writing. There is a riff that, like the track before it, is mainly composed of natural harmonics. One thing that I have learned from listening to and writing Death Metal is that, especially with the brand that BLOODPHEMY is playing, sustained notes at the end of riffs do not sound very good. This is also seen a lot on “L’uomo delinquente”.

Other than several examples of poor riff writing, this album is actually awesome. While the guitarist does write some riffs with natural harmonics, he also experiments a lot with harmonization. The vast majority of the songs on this album have riffs that are layered so that they harmonize. The effect this creates is rich and massive, giving a nice hint of originality as well as depth. Think MONSTROSITY but more brutal.

A Barbarous Murder” is another song with amazing harmonization. It also, neglecting the previously mentioned riff, has amazing riffs. Most notably, the main riff is dark and sinister as it is massive. While almost everything about this track is great, the highlight is the breakdown. Reminiscent of the Italian UNBIRTH, this breakdown is one of the heaviest I’ve heard so far this year. The lead guitar adds so much power to this already kinetic sledgehammer.

Overall, the riffing on this album is heavy. It’s very similar, again, to that of HOUR OF PENANCE on their later albums. The riffs are steamroller heavy and chug-y with nice melody and execution. The lead work is not too pretentious, but they still make sure we know they can play their instruments. The drums, while not very exciting, don’t stick just to simple beats, and the vocalist is the right amount of guttural.

Another notable moment I would like to mention is the voice-over on “Bloodline”. It starts out with an excerpt from something that makes a reappearance midway through the song. However, the next time there is an excerpt, it is backed by instruments, making it heavier and more impactful.

BLOODPHEMY have a good release here. Unfortunately, there are riffs on here that are bad in a very memorable way, however, the good moments are memorable too. It’s very counteracting in that way. It is clear that these guys have massive amounts of potential, and I really look forward to future releases.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Psychotic Breakdown
2. Spree Killing
3. Bloodline
4. A Barbarous Murder
5. Mental Atrophy
6. S.P.E.
7. Out of the Box
8. Chamber of Horrors
9. Worship Me
10. L’uomo delinquente

Edwin Nederkoorn – Drums
Winfred Koster – Guitars
Oliver van der Kruijf – Vocals
Robin Zwiep - Bass

Record Label: Black Lion Records


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