Monday, August 15, 2011

Get Into: Bloodstone



Since I just posted some cerebral postpunk, I thought I'd come back at you with something way the fuck out at the other end of the spectrum. Like The Ancients' Rebirth, Bloodstone come from the more brutal, less overtly melodic wing of Swedish black/death metal. While the other bands in this scene were basically doing black metal with death metal influences, these guys were stylistically much closer to death metal. Bloodstone emphasize dissonance, jam loads of riffs into every song, and revel in technical leads and solos. As if to seal the deal, their only album, Hour of the Gate, was recorded at Sunlight Studios with a pretty heavy low-end.

Nevertheless, despite all the death metal gestures, the overall vibe of Bloodstone is very black metal. The singer uses a badass midrange rasp instead of a death growl, there are some sick blasting sections, and the production is raw in a way that's atypical for Sunlight bands. Over and above this, though, Bloodstone just feels Satanic and occult. Perhaps this comes from their sly use of melody within a dissonant framework? From the way they hammer their instruments with murderous intent? From the sense that the tempo is constantly being pushed? From the fact that the singer wears sick corpsepaint and spikes? Regardless, by making death metal songs do black metal things, Bloodstone prove that there's a lot more to music than mere stylistic formulas.

If you're a black metal fan who wants a break from the razor-thin production on the first Nifelheim album, or a death metal guy who wishes the Swedish bands had a little more to do with Kreator and Possessed, you need to check Bloodstone out. Sure, they weren't a truly great band like Necrophobic, but they were damn good at what they did. Difficult to categorize and way too nasty for their own good, Bloodstone got a bum deal. Time to give them the respect they deserve.

3 comments:

  1. Bloodstone is definitely one of the unsung heroes of the Swedish black/death metal scene. I always described them as Necrophobic meets Carnage.

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  2. @ID: Yup! In fact, I always thought of it as a more death metal version of the stuff on "Darkside," so there you go. If you're into the Swedish black/death shit, definitely check out some of my older posts. That's basically my go-to subgenre.

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