Bloodbound – Unholy Cross: Review
Bloodbound released their latest album on March 18. It was done so through AFM records and is named Unholy Cross. I have formerly stated in other reviews that bands of the heavy-power metal genre often fall into the trap of conformity; Unholy Cross is no exception. Fortunately for the band, the music is at a higher level than the average heavy-power metal record.
The Music (rating: B)
- Drop the Bomb
- The Ones We Left Behind
- Reflections of Evil
- In for the Kill
- Together We Fight
- The Dark Side of Life
- Brothers of War
- Message From Hell
- In the Dead of Night
- Unholy Cross
Unholy Cross is no doubt a heavy-power metal album from start to end. There is a softer piece in the middle (“Brothers of War”), though this is common in the genre. It even has all the expected instruments: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, powerful vocals. There are many palm-muted, fast-picked riffs and double bass onslaughts. The vocals are high and strong, as expected with power metal. It surely goes to say that this album falls safely within the confines of the genre.
Unfortunately, having said so condemns Unholy Cross to the region of mediocrity. It is better than average, but still lingers to the taste of normalcy. It starts of very basic and bland, but does pick up towards the end (my personal favorite tracks being “In the Dead of Night” and “Unholy Cross”). But they most definitely overuse their small palette of riffs. There is a lot of single-note palm-muted picking throughout the album and it certainly grows weary after a short time. Not only that, it blends some of the tracks together and negates the potential uniqueness of the tracks within the album. As a result, Unholy Cross becomes generic both outside and inside the tracklist itself. Every goal that is seemingly underlying this album has been accomplished in previous settings and at higher levels. This is, in a sense, adding a single straw to an overflowing haystack.
But it is not as cut and dry as what I have made it out to be so far. Sure, Unholy Cross is a basic regurgitation of what is already in existence. But it does the doable above expectations. There are some good leads dispersed throughout and the vocal phrasing is no less than pleasant. The drums are definitely better than average, giving more intricate cymbal work than expected. There are some very basic parts along with higher creativity ones; it is a jumble of love and hate (or more so like and dislike).
There really is not much to say regarding Unholy Cross. I can simply state that it is a heavy-power metal album and whatever comes to mind will likely resemble what the record contains. It sounds rather generic and safe at most times, but still sounds better than the average output of the genre. Everything from the production to the instrumentals to the songwriting is at a level high enough to partially compensate for the records conformist characteristics. Unholy Cross provides a good listen for fans of the band and genre, but is not a draw for an unfamiliar crowd.
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