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Bloodred Hourglass – Your Highness

Bloodred Hourglass
Your Highness
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 October 2021, 6:40 AM

BLOODRED HOURGLASS is a melodic death metal band from Finland. They formed in 2005 and "Your Highness" is their fifth full length album, and have released several EPs. It is a well known fact that Finland is superb at cranking out melodic death metal and BLOODRED HOURGLASS has made a name for themselves over the years as one of the better modern bands playing the style.  This album in particular may not reinvent the wheel for the genre, and anyone not already a fan of this style won’t be won over, but it does push the band’s own sound forward.

Even upon the very first listen "Your Highness," is an album that makes its presence known.  The production is IMMENSE with a sound that just envelops everything.  The mix is superb as well with every instrumental clear as day.  I'm comfortable saying this is one of the best sounding albums I've heard this year. Fortunately, the song writing is worth whatever the price of the production was. The band doesn't sing happy go lucky songs but they don't completely submerge themselves into the Finnish melancholy either. Even with the songs that are mid paced or somber, there is still an undeniable energy to them.

BLOODRED HOURGLASS are five full lengths into their career but they still sound hungry. This album shows their well is far from dry and their will to continue to succeed is unbreakable. The first track "Leaves" begin with keys that create smooth and ethereal touches. The guitars soon begin with fast paced rhythm and intricate lead melodies. Death screams glide along the music with the keyboards returning as a fitting undercurrent. The chorus is catchy as hell and the song picks up the pace as it moves forward, filling in every precious second with the right notes at the right time. The second half of the song is one part gorgeous soundscapes and another part soulful guitar.

"Drag Me The Rain," is a more immediate track with rapid fire riffs and bouncy melodic hooks. The electric crunch of the rhythm is biting and doesn't sound thin even with the crystal clear production. Another catchy chorus awaits and I challenge anyone not to get this song stuck in their head. This song reminds me of the genres glory days with the way the guitars trade off with each other. "Veritas," is an atmospheric song that has a short three minute or so run time but hits hard with the time it has while also pulling on the heart strings with a varied vocal approach and fantastic musical harmonies that play along with the heavier aspects.

As the album goes on, the band stretches out its sound and becomes surprisingly varied and supports a variety of moods. "Tell Me About Yesterday Tomorrow" is a moody number that throws in acoustic guitar and clean vocals. The first half of the song is near being a ballad but the later half is far more intense.  Although not terrible, Jarkko’s cleans aren’t as effective or well done as his screams/growls but they are serviceable. "Gone For Now," has elements of ambient and post but still manages to sound distinctly BLOODRED HOURGLASS.  "Kings & Queens" balances their established sound with thrash and modern riffs.

The final track, "Until We Meet Again," is the best song on the album, thus ending it on a bang. All the album's elements are presented here and even more than they already do, each member brings their all as they arrive together as one. Highlights of the song include two minute long intro and the riff fest that comes afterwards. I loved how the song becomes increasingly more chaotic then cools down to calmer, more melancholic waters.

"Your Highness," is a bold statement of the state of melodic death. As long as bands like BLOODRED HOURGLASS are around, the genre will never die.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Leaves
2. Drag Me the Rain
3. Nightmares Are Dreams Too
4. Leave Out All The Rest
5. Veritas
6. Tell Me About Yesterday Tomorrow
7. Change of Heart
8. Gone For Now
9. Kings & Queens
10. My Prime of Kneel
11. Until We Meet Again
Lineup:
Jose Moilanen - Bass
Jarkko Hyvönen - Drums
Lauri Silvonen - Guitars (Rhythm)
Jarkko Koukonen - Vocals
Joni Lahdenkauppi - Guitars
Eero Silvonen - Guitars
Record Label: Out of Line Music
     


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