Album Review: Bloodletter - A Different Kind of Hell
Reviewed by Matthew Williams
Within a few seconds of the opening song, 'The Howling Dead', you’ll hear exactly what Bloodletter are all about, as this is simple, straight forward, head banging thrash, and who amongst us doesn’t enjoy that eh!! With enough furious riffs to waken even the darkest soul, they have set the bar high with this start but can they keep the standards high?
Hailing from the windy city, Chicago thrashers Bloodletter have sharpened their riffs across a decade of blazing EP’s and two full length albums, and this new release, 'A Different Kind of Hell' they have plunged into the nether realm of nightmares, to create a concept record which gave the band more focus, and it shows, with 'Blood is Life' continuing the riff onslaught on your senses.
The blackened speed picks up another notch with the sublime 'Bound & Ravaged', followed by 'From Hell They Came' and brilliant 'The Last Tomb' (listen to the opening riffs, they are a thing of beauty) which highlights the undoubted talent that both guitarists Pat Armamentos and Pete Carparelli have. The pace is relentless and by writing a concept album, it allows the music and the lyrics to flow effortlessly, whilst not defaulting on the intensity.
As vocalist Carparelli says, “the album is based on a journey of a lone adventurer, who eventually falls victim to a malevolent force, each song relives a part of their nightmare and their descent into Hell” and it’s certainly an enjoyable journey listening to this from start to finish.
There is no let up across the next set of songs, with 'His Will Be Done', 'Obsidian Offering', 'To Darkness Damned' and my favourite song, 'Lord of Pain', all raising the bar higher and higher for this quartet, with Zach Sutton on drums doing a superb job throughout, wonderfully assisted in the rhythm section by bass player Tanner Hudson.
So in answer to my earlier question, can they keep the standards high, the answer is unequivocally hell yes they can, as they’ve made their sound more epic and adventurous, with final tracks 'What Lies Beneath' and 'Flesh Turned to Ash' bringing an end to a fantastic album full of razor sharp riffs and harmonized leads.