Bloodstrike play a brand of Swe-Death, and it’s pretty goddamned obvious from the album cover alone. So you already know to expect crunching grooves, eerie lead melodies and a pounding drum approach. It’s pretty much another day at the office, and you’re going to pick it up. But did you know that the frontman is actually a frontwoman? It’s tough to tell at first, but she’s equally as might as Angela Gossow and won’t resort to clean vocals because “female fronted band” aesthetic. A bit unrelated, but when it was announced that Arch Enemy was going to start employing clean vocals, that killed well over two decades of death metal for me. Here we see a band with no intention of doing that, let alone featuring any light and fluffy leads, or even a simple sign of hope. With bone-chillers like “Putrified Rapist” (4:17, love the vocal effects on that one) “Maggots For A Whore” (3:32) and “S.S.B.” (Sex, Satan, Beer 4:22) you can already tell that you’re getting nothing more than a memorable bludgeoning which you’ll feel hammering through all of your orifices at once. When she performs gutturals, it actually sounds a little closer to something like Autopsy, even though the band clearly love Grave. That’s because they’ve also covered here one of my personal favorite songs from the band, “Soulless” (3:05). It’s evident that the band are just getting started and still have some work ahead of them, but for what I’ve heard here, I simply can’t complain as this might just be the closest thing we’ll get to what Arch Enemy used to be, even though Bloodstrike are far more crunchy to make a real comparison. Grave, Entombed, Bloodbath, Revolting and others however, sound much more like what you’re getting here. It’s a crusty slab of death coming from a group that you may not expect. Give it a shot, I’m sure you’ll find it’s just as good as all the other crusty slabs o’ death you have sitting on your shelf.
(11 Tracks, 45:00)