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Bloodway – A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues

Bloodway
A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 November 2017, 10:32 AM

Romanian Progressive Black Metal trio BLOODWAY formed in 2013. From their Facebook page, they formed from the ideas of three musicians, Costin Chioreanu (guitar, vocals), Alex Ghita (drums) and Mihai Andrei (bass). The three merged their past musical experiences, challenging themselves to reach new borders of creativity, in order to shape a special band with an extremely coherent speech. The name BLOODWAY comes from the idea of experiences and paths that somebody can achieve and discover during a lifetime. We have the band’s sophomore album here to review, which contains eight new tracks.

“Not whom, but Where” is a short, two-minute opening instrumental. It has an ethereal but sinister tone, and spoken words talk about religious themes. “The Startling Grotesque” slams in pretty hard, with a  bevy of cymbal crashes, and high pitched vocals that seem to come from Costin’s diaphragm, as he seems to hit the peaks of his top range. The music is intriguing. I am unsure that I would call it Black Metal, but genre purists be gone anyway. What I will call it however is pretty unique. “Don’t Wake the Void” is an eight-minute beast. The peculiar chord progressions are where the Progressive elements seem to shine most. It’s despondent in nature, but attacks and retreats and you can’t quite figure out where it might be heading.

“Midnight Scout” is another eerie and particular offering. At times it is fairly tame, with clean vocals, while at other times the incensed vocals burn with rage. Again there is a very idiosyncratic mix of Black Metal intensity with odd chord patterns and ambiance. This is really strikingly different. “Prison Paradise” opens with a sexy bass line and a bit of a groove. It has a sad sound, with clean vocals, and moves cautiously. Mixing in some twin guitar harmonies and more traditional Black Metal vocals provides more of that diversity talked about earlier. “The Incident” has a repeating pattern of an unconventional chord structure at first, with clean vocals, leading to a more linear riff with harsh vocals. I don’t think I can comment enough on how truly strange this is…not qualifying whether good or bad, just strange.

“Encounters to Pray” is a bit of a shorter piece, clocking in at about five minutes. A thick and full sound accompanies a dark but oddly jovial opening riff, leading to some bombast later. I pick up on some NWOBHM influence here as well. The title track closes the album. Mostly instrumental, it might be the bizarre track on the album. At first it has a melody line that you can follow…dark but unobtrusive. As it stretches out it becomes more intense, with more spoken word to its completion. OK, I love strange music, and strange Progressive music as well. But this album is perplexing. Though there are certainly elements of Black Metal present, I would say that Progressive elements abound for the most part. The niche that it resides in however is fairly narrow…and the result will really be very personal for each listener. It is very tough to rate, but on ingenuity and uniqueness alone you have to be impressed.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Not whom but Where (Intro)
2. The Startling Grotesque
3. Don’t Wake the Void
4. Midnight Scout
5. Prison Paradise
6. The Incident
7. Encounters to Pray for
8. A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues
Lineup:
Costin Chioreanu – Guitars, Vocals
Alex Ghita – Drums
Mihai Andrei – Bass 
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records
     


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Edited 16 December 2017
 

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