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Bloodstained Ground - A Poem Of Misery Award winner

Bloodstained Ground
A Poem Of Misery
by Erika Kuenstler at 24 October 2014, 10:42 AM

Swiss Blackened Melodic Death Metallers BLOODSTAINED GROUND are back with their second full-length album “A Poem of Misery”, due for release mid-November this year. BLOODSTAINED GROUND have taken a new direction on this release, using cellos, violins, and sitars to enhance the more melodic aspects of their music. Having gone through some turbulent times in terms of lineup, with “A Poem of Misery”, they have a truly exceptional line-up that has the potential to set out and conquer the genre of Melodic Metal, given time and experience: this release is a veritable testament to this latent genius.

Starting off with a murky and dark atmosphere, a maudlin violin slices through the ether with bitter-sweet melancholy. This is soon joined by a percussive onslaught, with the vocals marshalling everything into true battle formation. The structure very much reminds me of FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, melding more stately classical sections with all the aggression of Death Metal. In comparison to this, the following track “Yersinia Pestis” is far more technical, showing what machinegun-like ammo this band truly possesses. The hacked violin passages add an element of madness to it all, twisting and warping your consciousness, swirling on blackened wings down into the depths of depravity. The title track “A Poem of Misery” takes a more melodic approach, blending darker strains and weaving in a relentless drumming into a moving tapestry of frustration, futility, and dissatisfaction with the status quo, encapsulating the struggle against all that keeps us blinded to the truth, whatever that may be.

“The Old Ones” has an interesting almost oriental twist half way through, curtesy of some fine sitar work, making this one of the most memorable tracks of the album. Also noteworthy is “A Noble Lady”; amalgamating heaviness and sepulchre beauty, holding it all together with bridges of pure blackness, and meandering guitar passages, this song completely shatters all boundaries of the genre. Here the almost Core-like vocals are tempered by sweeter refrains and soaring melodies that flitter through the song on gossamer wings, giving the heaviness a saccharine and keening edge that is almost heart breaking in its gorgeousness. Things take another rapid turn, with the intro to the final song “Poisoned Mind”, which would not be out of place on a BELPHEGOR album. However, here the similarity ends when the song gives way to an instrumentals section led by cellos and violins, given a threatening undertow by the raspy vocals. This is perhaps my favourite song on the album, and it seems to me that here BLOODSTAINED GROUND have struck the perfect balance between Black and Death, and between aggression and splendour. What I really loved about the album is the variation: each song has its own unique and distinctive sound, yet all still complement each other and work as a coherent whole. In other words, the album is fresh and varied without sounding disjointed; you can listen to it over and over without growing bored of it.

On the downside, the mix sounds a little flat in places, with the layers missing the fullness that would have made this release superb, and it is sadly this that stops “A Poem of Misery” from being completely on par with the masters of this genre. Nevertheless, it is an excellent release, simply oozing with potential. If you are a fan of bands such as BELPHEGOR, FLESHGOD APOCALYSE, or HISS FROM THE MOAT, then I would definitely recommend checking out this album. I for one will be keeping an eager eye on this band as they undoubtedly go on to accomplish great things.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. (Self)Imposed Denial
2. Yersinia Pestis
3. A Poem Of Misery
4. Apega
5. Abiuro
6. The Old Ones
7. A Noble Lady
8. Poisoned Mind
Lineup:
Roger Rüfenacht – Vocals
Thomas Gerber – Guitar
Mischa Leutwyler – Guitar
Thomas Müller – Bass
Markus Bader – Drums
Record Label: Czar Of Crickets Productions
     


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