Originally released towards the tail end of last year independently, Chicagoan savages Bloodletter are now seeing their Funeral Hymns elpee given wider exposure via the good people at the always-exciting Petrichor Label.
But that’s enough boring music industry guff. The salient facts you really to know about these American thrashers are (a), they rock and (b), um, that’s it… Really what can you say about a band that take the best bits of the old school (Slayer, Exodus) and fuse them to the best bits if the new (Havok, Warbringer) with predictably devastating results? Actually, as an Englishman, I’d throw a couple more sonic references into the stew, notably modern day Onslaught and Stampin’ Ground, if that’s any help, but the fact remains that this album, from start to finish, is ear-gouging thrash of the most intense and satisfying kind.
These boys don’t muck about – standout track Burnt Beyond Recognition gets in and out having laid waste to all around it in a tick over three minutes, for instance – preferring to condense their ideas into pressurised capsules of mayhem rather than allowing anything to stay longer than is strictly necessary. That doesn’t mean that things are left half arsed and hanging or unfinished, however – it’s just that Bloodletter have a happy knack of writing snappy, no-flab thrash anthems as if such a thing was second nature. It’s the Campbell’s Soup of thrash! Condensed but packed full of nutrients!
Pat Armamentos and Peter Carperelli are a superb guitar team – whoever plays lead on the excellent Mark of Justice certainly gets my vote as an axeman worth watching – but overall this isn’t an album where you are listening, intent on picking out moments of virtuoso talent to swoon over. Far better to simply fasten the old Metal Church neck brace and enjoy the album on a more physical level. Let the blood flow!
Funeral Hymns releases on February 19th.