Finland continues to spawn excellent new metal. I know that’s not a revelation, but it’s in the front of my mind because I’ve been listening to my own latest Finnish discovery — a band from Mikkeli named Bloodred Hourglass. After a few demos, they recorded their debut album Lifebound last year and then succeeded in forming a relationship with the Finnish label Spinefarm, which is set to release the album on August 24.
I first got curious about Bloodred Hourglass after seeing a review of Lifebound by Madame X at the Angry Metal Guy blog (is she still a “probationary scribe”?). And then yesterday I noticed that the entire album was streaming at Finland’s Inferno magazine website, and I let it run roughshod through my head over the ether.
The music represents a confluence of styles. Thrash is the dominant ingredient, but it would be misleading to brand this a thrash album, because (as Madame X noted) it’s almost equally freighted with groove metal in the vein of Lamb of God, and there are hardcore and melodic death metal elements in the mix, too.
And then in addition to all that, the album includes unexpected instrumentals that don’t fit with any of those other genre references — sometimes as standalone songs (“We Lived Like Kings” and “Ghost Wounds”) and sometimes cropping up in the middle of something else (as in “Arcadia”). The instrumental music is so divergent from the band’s dominant motif that I can’t begin to explain it. But if I tried, I’d say it’s like being teleported to an alien mother ship for unnatural impregnation right in the middle of Breaking Bad.
I don’t know about you, but I happen to like surprises when going through an album, and taking a sharp left turn into a parallel dimension can fire different neurons and produce a greater “fuck yeah” sensation about the album as a whole. Which it does here.
All the instrumental musicians in Bloodred Hourglass know their stuff, and their vocalist hits so damned many sweet spots, from cauterizing howls to the roars of something that wants nothing better than to clamp its teeth down on your haunch and chew. You just want to let your hair down and put as many skull dents as you can in your drywall before the neighbors call the police.
I strongly encourage you to go listen to this album stream while it lasts. Because this is a Spinefarm release, it probably won’t see the light of day in North America until 2013 — a strategy that no other European label I know of seems wedded to, and allow me to ask for the 1,000th time, what the fuck is up with that? THIS is the link for the music, and it includes a track-by-track description (for those who read Finnish, and if you don’t, forget about Google translate unless you’re really high).
As you surely know, I’ll be fucked like a tethered goat before I’ll finish a post without some music that I can stream here, and in the case of Bloodred Hourglass I have one and only one sample — this video for “Above All”. Saw some fuckin’ wood and bang your fuckin’ head, and i you don’t, you’re dead to me:
If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go like Bloodred Hourglass on Facebook here. You might be the person who puts them over the 1,000 mark, since they’re awful damned close. THIS LINK will take you to the band’s official web site.
Shit. I was too slow. Number 1,005 on Facebook. I feel like such a loser. Time to go slit my wrists and spray blood on school children.
Good music though. Lots of GRRRRRRR and ARRRR and BLERRRRG! Just my kind of thing.
GRRRRRRR and ARRRR and BLERRRRG — and don’t forget THE CHAINSAWS! Also, I think there was some SCREEEEEEEEEEEE in there, too.
Oh, shit, that SCREEEEEEEEEEEE was some good fucking SCREEEEEEEEEEE! Like the kind of SCREEEEEE that makes your dick grow long and your tits sag down.
Yeah exactly! No, wait . . . stop talking about my tits.
I’ll stop talking about them as soon as I start licking on ’em.
I’m starting to feel queasy again.
Hmmm…vomit mixed with man-breast-milk. I bet if you eat lots of cinnamon, it’ll taste great.
I guess there’s a kind of symmetry to this thread. We started with BLERRRRG and here we are back at BLERRRRG, which is the sound I just made as my breakfast landed in my lap.
You really need to be more careful with your cereal. Don’t be so wasteful!
JUST THINK OF THE COW WHO GOT HER TITTIES SQUEEZED ALL TO HELL JUST TO GIVE YOU SOME MILK??? UNGRATEFUL BASTARD!
Someone make him stop.
I’ll stop when you have some respect for cow-tit-juice!
Groove Metal?…blah…Finland you are better than this
It’s Obama’s fault.
Or possibly Romney’s fault.
Actually, I bet it’s Biden’s, Palin’s, Ryan’s and Cookie Monster’s fault.
Kind of reminds me of Devildriver, if Devildriver wasn’t humorless and boring.
No shit. DevilDriver have really gone downhill. I used to eat them up, and now I’d rather go to Denny’s.
Were I to judge solely by the album cover, I would have assumed this to be Nickelback-style buttrock. Musically, however, it basically sounds like a thrashy Lamb Of God tribute band, which I suppose is not necessarily bad, but doesn’t exactly draw me in.
..No, that by definition, really is bad
Don’t liek the vocals.