Bloodbound - Nosferatu
When it comes to starting up a new heavy metal band nowdays, there is really no use in even trying to be original. It is a futile task and just a waste of time and energy. Bloodbound have understood that and are instead concentrating on forging as good heavy metal songs as they possible can in the already worked out concept and it works out just fine, I might add.
This is just as a pleasant newcomer on the traditional metal scene as was Lost Horizon - Awakening The World (2001) and Sabaton - Primo Victoria (2005). This is, however, even better. Bloodbound, fronted by ex-Tad Morose singer Urban Breed, play classic heavy metal with full focus on catchy riffs, plenty of melodies and especially strong refrains. There is not one single song on the album that does not contain a very catchy and powerful chorus, and when all is accompanied by a great and solid rhythm section the result can not be anything else than really, really good. Both the band and the songs have enough personality to stand out and feel like something special and extra than just another metal band. Some parts of the songs here and there are built the way a neo classic band would do, but it is only fragmentally. I would welcome that element even more next time because it is a fresh spice in their sound.
The excellent production has given a very rich and full sound landscape which is very fat yet clear. On their website we can read that "not a single track on the album is less than one hundred channels. The complexity of the arrangements made it a big challenge to get that raw and heavy sound you can hear on the album. The amazing thing is that you can still hear every tiny detail crystal clear. This was accomplished by analyzing the frequency of each instrument, and adjust the spectrum so every part has its given place within the dynamic range of the human ear (20Hz - 20kHz)."
Most of the material is uptempo in either galopping or double bass drum style and immediate references are Nocturnal Rites, Iron Maiden (Midnight Sun, Nosferatu, On The Battlefield), Helloween (Fallen From Grace), Dream Evil and also a bit Tad Morose (Crucified), even though this is more "straight heavy metal" than these bands have ever been with the exception of Nocturnal Rites. Vocalist Urban Breed (which actually is his real, birth given name) here does his best effort ever in his career according to me. He has the perfect voice for this music and here he pulls off his peak performance so far.
The last little point in order to reach perfection is being held back because I miss a bit more solos. The ones that are there are great and I would like to hear more of them instead of just constant melodic guitarleads. Also because I know that most people like to have an album a bit more varied in tempo and structure than what this is. I am however not that picky about that, especially not when it is done as brilliantly as here, and this is for me very close to perfection. This is a killer release and I am pretty sure it will end up in the absolute top when it is time to sum up the year of 2006. Take my word for it and buy this release if you are a fan of the genre.
Final question 1: Why corpse paint? Although very original for a band in this genre, it seems like an odd and unnecessary accessory. Final question 2: Isn't the verse melody and riff in Fallen From Grace almost criminally close to the one in Eagle Fly Free by Helloween?