I first fell in love with Bloodyard at Hammerfest 2019 in Prestatyn. Towards the end of night 3,drained and withered from the rigours that media does to you during a festival. The interviews, the photographing and of course, the beer. I stood alone at a table just catching five minutes to try and re-charge. I couldn’t see the stage from where I was, such was the angle of trajectory of the speakers versus where I was stood, but I heard something in a voice that drew me to postpone my five minute re-charge and head straight back into the pit with my camera.
And there she was. Donna, lead vocalist with this great band screaming like a panther. And I was in love from that moment on. That’s my story. That’s how I’ve got to this point now where I’m able to finally review a full album from Bloodyard.
What’s interesting about this album is that it’s been put together over a period of time according to the reference on the back page. And it does show as some songs sound differently mixed to others. However that is nothing. ‘Blood Begets Blood ‘ kicks in and instantly I’m warped to Hammerfest. The power, tightness, creativity oozes from this track. In fact, it’s an absolute perfect track to demonstrate everything Bloodyard. Speed changes, running riffs, Puma-esque vocals. Dream.
‘Mortem ‘ has this amazing speed change at the beginning. I can hear Slayer here. But I’m not going to compare Bloodyard with anyone because I don’t think you can. This is stand alone brilliance. Their own identity.
Hearing Donna’s voice just makes me swoon for her even more and why not? An amazing front woman full of energy and a prowess that will trance anyone who sees these guys live. As ‘Rupture The Mask ‘ greets us I can’t help but feel I’m starting to get sucked into Bloodyard’s unique way of thinking.
There’s no point in me trying to describe each song. They all contain technical excellence, mixed with speed and an imagination most bands would be jealous of. To be able to create an album like this over such a length of time tells me that Bloodyard deserve to be at the top. You don’t write music like this willy nilly. This album is something else that in a parallel universe would be up there with the likes of Exodus, Slayer, and all things metal. You don’t win 2015’s Metal To The Masses through luck.
I just need to mention final track ‘Antithesis ‘. A monster clocking in at almost ten minutes. A proper juggernaut of a track on a par from the …And Justice For All ‘ era. It boasts a beautiful passage from Donna at the very end. Lovely.
Don’t miss this album. It may have took a while to emerge, but my lord the wait was worth it.
1 – Blood Begets Blood 2 – Mortem 3 – Rupture The Mask 4 – Orchard Of Corpses 5 – All Hail The Crimson King 6 – Stack the Pyre 7 – Choke 8 – Purge The Rot 9 – Antithesis
Donna Hurd – Vocals / Nick Adamson – Guitars / Dave Cowley – Bass / Matty Lee / Drums