I first came across Bloodshot Dawn around about 18 months ago, when they played in front of a pretty small crowd in a tiny club here in Belfast, opening for the extremely disappointing Scar Symmetry in a gig which proved that some bands really should be more careful as to who they book in the support slots… But, that’s really here nor there in the here and now, except to say that, fast forward a little more than a year and the selfsame openers were in another, erm, opening situation – this time at the mighty Bloodstock, where and when they had the uneviable job of kicking off the action the main stage on the first morning.
Not only was it a wake up call as far as early risers that particular morning were concerned, but it also was one for the British death metal scene as a whole, as it proved that here was a band not only injecting much needed vibrancy into the genre but also one which had worked bloody hard to get to the position in which they now find themselves. And it’s a position which the band will consolidate even further with this hugely accomplished and impressive second album.
The one thing that strikes the listener immediately is the maturity of the Bloodshot Dawn sound: as mentioned, this may be only their second album, but this is a band who have been grafting away and working their way up through the ranks for more than a decade now. It is experience which manifests itself on every level, from the crunching riffs through the soaring melodies from the twin guitar attack of Josh McMorran and Benjamin Ellis, the apocalyptic double kicks of new recruit Janne Jaloma, the solid bass work of Anthony Ridout to McMorran’s beautifully pitched vocals, which possess the right degree of venom and vitriol without descending into the unnecessary growling which detracts from so much otherwise potentially good albums released by so many band operating in this particular corner of the market.
The production mix, by veteran Danish soundman Jacob Hansen, really brings out the performances, with the right mix of cleanliness (especially on the vocals) and dirt (on the bottom end of the guitars), combined with the restrained aggression which simmers just below the surface.
This has been a great year for thrash and death metal albums, especially in terms of returning heroes of both sub-genres. ‘Demons’ proves that not only can the new breed hold their own against the older defenders of the faith, but also that the British contribution to the scene is very much vibrant and challenging for its place at the top of the champions’ league – and also provided us with an album which may well, in retrospect, be considered a classic of its type.
Smoke And Mirrors / Consequence Complex / Unified / Inadequacy / Black Hole Infinity / Human Void / The Image Faded / Demons
Recommended listening: Unified
‘Demons’ is released on Sunday (October 26).
Sunday October 26 – Limerick, Dolan’s Warehouse
Monday October 27 – Belfast, Voodoo
Tuesday October 28 – Glasgow, Audio
Wednesday October 29 – Manchester, Sound Control
Thursday October 30 – Bristol, The Exchange
Friday October 31 – Brighton, Green Door Store
Saturday November 1 – London, Unicorn
Sunday November2 – Cardiff, Full Moon
Support on all dates comes from Seprevation.
Keep up to date with developments by following the band at https://www.facebook.com/BloodshotDawn