So early into 2018 and Utrecht, Netherlands based Bleeding Gods have set the bar high for death metal with their latest studio album Dodekathlon. Formed in 2012 by guitarist Ramon Ploeg their musicianship is very impressive. Currently available via Nuclear Blast Records its twelve tracks are based on the twelve labours of Hercules.
Opener ‘Bloodguilt’ is all body blows of searing guitar lines, evil riffing and rib rattling drumming that pummels along in full on death metal mode interspersed with rampaging grooves as a chugging midsection heads off into a full on wah-wah drenched guitar outro solo. ‘Multiple Decapitation’ has a Behemoth like intense operatic intro that steamrollers along on a guttural lead vocal from Mark Huisman. A spoken word piece midway portraying Hercules’ task precedes an outro of overwhelming doom that brings it to a close. ‘Beloved By Artemis’ is an unrelenting wave of brutality that twists and turns to a sparsely riffed midsection that is blasted by away by the band charging in full pelt. ‘From Feast To Beast’ is a hypnotic blur of riffing backed by metronomic drumming and swathes of synths.
The bar is raised even higher by ‘Inhuman Humiliation’ as Daan Klemann once again proceeds to test the strength of his drum kit with immense blast beats backed by light speed riffing. ‘Birds Of Hate’ is an adrenaline rush of rhythms powered by ballistic blast beats. The grinding riffs of ‘Saviour Of Crete’ set the scene for a mesmerizing drum pounding as the song lumbers with evil conviction as blast beats briefly lay waste to these rhythms as it ends on the original grooves. The mood is lightened by a brief acoustic/electric guitar instrumental ‘Tyrannical Blood’ backed by sumptuous synths.
Skin flaying riffs throughout ‘Seeds Of Distrust’ compete with ankle snapping double bass drum onslaughts. Seven minutes seem to fly by such is the intensity of ‘Tripled Anger’. The energy levels are unstoppable due to time changes that veer off in the blink of an eye and the most visceral vocal delivery on the album. Hercules’ task is barked out at the beginning of ‘Hera’s Orchard’ followed by grooves that lunge and lurch throughout as my personal highlight ‘Hound Of Hell’ closes the album on a suffocating blanket of doom as synths dominate a steady grind.
Album track listing and Hercules’ tasks :-
Bloodguilt (Nemean Lion).
Multiple Decapitation (Lernaen Hydra).
Beloved By Artemis (Ceryneian Hind).
From Feast To Beast (Erymanthian Boar).
Inhuman Humiliation (Augean Stables).
Birds Of Hate (Stymphalian Birds).
Saviour Of Crete (Cretan Bull).
Tyrannical Blood (Mares Of Diomedes).
Seeds Of Distrust (Belt Of Hippolyta).
Tripled Anger (Cattle Of Geryon).
Hera’s Orchard (Apples Of The Hesperides).
Hound Of Hell.
Bleeding Gods band line up :-
Mark Huisman – Lead vocals.
Ramon Ploeg – Guitar.
Rutger Van Noordenburg – Guitar.
Gea Mulder – Bass guitar/backing vocals.
Daan Klemann – Drums.