Bloodbound – In The Name Of Metal
Bloodbound is somewhat under Urban Breed’s spell, whether he is in the band or not. The debut Nosferatu remains, to this day, a very entertaining slab of power metal-meets-Iron Maiden, and Tabula Rasa stands as an excellent experiment with more progressive songwriting. For every other album, Breed was absent, and he’s not likely to return. So while Book Of The Dead and Unholy Cross had their share of fun but dumb tracks (no better example than the brilliantly stupid “Moria”), they never grew into anything special. As you might guess from the title, In The Name Of Metal is not about to change that.
On some level, the Swedes are of course not really trying to rise above silly heavy metal worship. When you start your record with a scream similar to countrymen Dream Evil’s “The Book Of Heavy Metal”, you are not reaching for originality awards. The opening title track is, however, among the finest In The Name Of Metal has to offer, with its ripping pre-chorus and anthemic refrain. Single “Metalheads Unite” stands among the highlights as well, and I do believe Bloodbound has very little to say but “Isn’t metal just grand?”
For the other songs, the band resorts to its usual demonic imagery. Take your pick of “When Demons Collide”, “Mr. Darkness”, “I’m Evil”, “Monstermind” and “Black Devil”. Connoisseurs know what to expect: mid tempo riffing, upbeat melodies and fun little choruses. Bloodbound has however thrown some hard rock ingredients into their bubbling power metal cauldron, yielding some choicer cuts such as “Black Devil” and “Bounded By Blood”. Listen for a very Bon Jovi-esque refrain in “Son Of Babylon” as well. On the power metal front you will find “When Demons Collide”, “Bonebreaker” and “King Of Fallen Grace” most familiar and to your liking. With an average song length of 3:30 minutes, the album zips along at a brisk pace, and never leaves a dull moment. Hell, there’s not even a ballad.
A final highpoint is the update of “Book Of The Dead”. Perhaps that sums up In The Name Of Metal perfectly: every idea here is at least a little rehashed from the band’s earlier days, and those seeking renewal had best look elsewhere. Yet in a year where Paragon got away with energetically repeating a successful formula, it would be unfair to scold Bloodbound for doing the same. In The Name Of Metal will not drastically alter your opinion of this band, but if you’re like me, and like a guilty pleasure from time to time, this should be a breezy ride. At the very least there are no references to Moria anymore.
Arno’s rating: 3.5 out of 5