Album Review: Bloodbound – Bloodheads United

Album Review: Bloodbound - Bloodheads United

Album Review: Bloodbound - Bloodheads United
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

I’m quite particular about my power metal these days, which I think in part is because I was around when bands like Helloween were breaking new ground back in the 1980s. Many of today’s bands leaves me cold, with only a few such as Blind Guardian exciting me.

Bloodbound have been around for 15 years or so, and the Swedes have a loyal fan base across the globe, especially in Germany. Four of these tracks are recorded at 2017’s Bang Your Head Festival, the exception being the title track, a new studio recording (with added crowd noise). It’s reasonable enough, typically full of anthemic pomp and, like their countrymen Sabaton, they know a winning formula when they hit it and stick closely to the blueprint throughout. Soaring choruses, thick keyboards which underpin the melody, battering drums and enough riffs to keep it away from Eurovision rock and towards the heavy metal banner. That’s the power metal way.

Album Review: Bloodbound - Bloodheads United

It’s a bit of fraud to say there are four live tracks on this EP, as ‘Bloodtale’ is merely an intro to ‘Battle in the Sky’, a frenetic but rather generic track. ‘In the Name of Metal’ is the kind of track I struggle massively with; it’s the kind of song that Manowar were able to pull off because they were so ridiculous, but which here just sounds hackneyed. The lyrics are dire, Patrick Selleby’s voice struggles to maintain consistency and pitch and it’s not very good. Whilst Sabaton could get away with ‘Metal Crüe’ because it was tongue in cheek, too many bands fail on this style. Final track ‘Moria’ contains just about every cliché in the book. Live tracks are often a little bit of a challenge, and overall, there is very little to get excited about here.

Ironically this release was scheduled to link in with Record Store Day, now postponed until 20th June (and likely to be put back again if you ask me). All five tracks are exclusively available on this Mini LP, which comes as 10” white Vinyl only and is limited to 500 units. Very much for the collectors only.

'Bloodheads United' is released via AFM Records on April 17th.

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