Reviewed by Leo Kindred
Quite frankly these guys from that most extreme of places, Portsmouth, could well be the next big thing in UK metal- by which I mean metal, not that Bring Me The Horizon gash. For Bloodshot Dawn on this bewilderingly, brutal and brilliant debut display the chops and…awesomeosity of seasoned pros, not to mention knowing their way around some excellent hooks and fancy soloing.
The thing to most remark upon is the treading of the line between the dirty, low-end chunking riffs of old school death metal, and the keen assimilation of rather catchy and classy sounding leads and arrangement.
It’s unusual for a band at times to remind you of Arch Enemy, or even at times Machine Head, but to have feet planted firmly in the brutal camp of death; not compromising on the fact they’re an extreme metal band but unafraid to show off an ability for thrash riffs and a little crowd pleasing. And it is pleasing.
From opener ‘Beckoning Oblivion‘ (with obligatory “epic” intro), to closer ‘Archetype‘ (with far less obligatory ambient 2-part guitar harmony outro), there’s hell for leather death thrash of the highest quality; blast beats for hair-windmilling , neck-snapping riffs, and the tremolo picked and death-growling certainties which are, as you all know, for gurning and pulling brutal faces to.
There’s also excellent leads-a-plenty, to leave your face gooey on the floor, frozen in a orgasmic-visage; as if the ark’s just been opened in Indiana Jones, but instead lots of disturbingly sexy ghosts have come out. Mine would look like Dr Alice Roberts.
I can’t praise this release enough. Bloodshot Dawn have managed to succeed where so many others would, and have, fallen flat, all on their first record. It’s a death thrash album that can’t fit anywhere but the extreme metal section, but has the finesse, maturity and execution, reminding of Megadeth – before Dave Mustaine went all dickish-er, or Metallica before- well, let’s not talk about that, but delivered through a death metal prism.
Criticisms will, predictably and probably, fall into two categories: too generic or not generic enough. No doubt some truer-than-true death fans will not care for the flair and concessions to melody, tempo changes and the like, whilst others will see the approach as too much like a typification of uninventive thrash-esque metal that bands like Evile or recent Machine Head provide.
But the absence of entirely blast-beat oriented songs on the one hand, or free jazz sections on the other, does not make this anything other than a fantastic debut from a band who deserve to be regarded one of the British extreme metal leading lights.
Now they just need to get signed.