Review Summary: For those that can bring themselves to listen to anything post nineteenth century death metal & grind core, BloodBeast is clearly the band; they know their chosen genre and are on top of their game.
BloodBeast is a South African Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Grind core band hailing from Pretoria, Gauteng. The band has released two studio albums to date, namely “Bloodlust” in 2012 and the critically acclaimed “Out For Blood” in 2014.
Out for Blood is a fantastic album that does not adhere to many troupes commonly found in grind core and it is the better for it. The songs structures are varied while still packing a punch, the riffs are memorable and hard hitting, the lyrics are acidic and socially-charged, and the vocals are electrifying.
The album kicks off with about a minute long of instrumentals that include lightning-fast guitar work over frenetic blast-beats and double bass kicks with massive, sludgy riffs over loud, pounding drumming. It is a gripping start to the album. Following this, the album becomes an ever-shifting monstrosity. There are fast, grinding songs combining tremolo riffling with incessant drumming and manic vocals. “Cannibalistic Hunger” exemplifies this best with its vicious, catchy riffs and quick drumming. It gains momentum and intensity until the song is bursting with grinding guitars and frenzied drum work. Cannibalistic Hunger, Mutilator and Truth by Torture effortlessly thrash their way through the durations with the quintessential fierce shrieking chromaticism conjoining the choruses to the verses and Van666 Alberts still fitting plenty of words in a single cry.
And so Out For Blood is not so much about BloodBeast Band trying to prove their relevance over renowned bands of the 80’s who have threaded the path of the Death Metal and Grind Core sub-genre, it’s more about adding icing atop Bloodlust. Whether or not they are achieving it successfully is ultimately up to you. A few songs do very little to stand out, Butcher For Pleasure is quite possibly one of their lowest creations ever, with Blood & Slaughter a close second; blame not only the tempo but also the featureless song writing in these cases. However, they are over in the blink of an eye and do little to detract from the excellent pace and variation on Out For Blood. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be experiencing a far-reaching incarnation of Bloodlust v2.0., No, instead expect a concreted, yet partially dumbed down embodiment of what BloodBeast Band did on Bloodlust and that most likely will be what Out For War will be remembered for- piercing energy and swift rhythm.
The most memorable track is Home Invasion. It combines old-school, trashy riffling with pounding drumming. The vocals on the track swap between clean chants and an assortment of fevered howls. Atmospheric pieces break up the action with monstrous vocals above eerie instrumentation and tribal drumming. The vocal work is phenomenal throughout. Alberts’ screams and barks sound fevered and possessed while the cleans are eerie and will make one’s skin crawl. The lyrics behind these vocals are very nihilistic and take bites at issues in modern society.
The production on this record is good. Most of all instrumentation is on the high-end and the production caters to this perfectly. It clears without forgetting the dirtiness that defines the genre. The lead guitar is loud and grinding. The bass guitar is low in the mix, but it’s dirty grooves and chugs are audible throughout. The bass jumps at its opportunities to shine during the sludge metal passages. Double-bass kicks and blast-beats pack a wallop. The drumming sounds crisp. However, the cymbal crashes do not sound very good. That is but a minor gripe in an otherwise solid production job.
Out For Blood is an excellent album coming from a band new in the Death Metal, Grind Core sub-genre. It is well-paced, varied, smart, and packed with energy. Your blood will be pumping and your head will be banging the entirety of this album.