Blood God - 'Blood is My Trademark' CD Review (Massacre Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blood God - 'Blood is My Trademark' CD Review (Massacre Records)

Blood God - 'Blood is My Trademark' CD Review (Massacre Records)German death metal vocalist Thomas Gurrath (Debauchery) kicked off his thrash side-project Blood God a few years ago and, earlier this fall, the band released its second disc, Blood Is My Trademark (Massacre Records). The new disc sports cover art by Warhammer illustrator Adrian Smith) and the band describes the backdrop to their live set as “decorated with puppets of female demons and bodyparts and skulls and stuff like that”. Now that you know where the band’s headset is, they describe their musical influences as Judas Priest, Accept, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and AC/DC.

Given Gurrath’s tenure in Debauchery, it should come as no surprise that the disc’s lyrics are horror themes about bloodletting, murder and mayhem. With the disc’s catchy, old-school metal riffs grabbing the listeners attention right away, most people may not even realize what they are singing along to. At least one group though has paid attention as, going back a few years, Gurrath was fired from his job as a high school philosophy teacher when school officials found out about Debauchery and their associated theatrics.

Thomas Gurrath’s vocals are almost a dead-ringer for that of Brian Johnson (AC/DC) and this, along with some Angus Young style riffs, gives this disc a serious AC/DC vibe though Blood God comes on a bit louder, harder and faster. Most of the songs feature thrash/metal guitar riffs and shredding solos over top of a locomotive bass/drum backbeat. What adds to the thrash metal vibe is that most songs also have gang vocals on the chorus. The band doesn't stray far from this proven formula though there are a number of cases where the guitars are down-tuned and there are hints of NWOBHM and White Zombie style groove in “Sexy Music for Sexy People”. Another track where Blood God mixes it up is “Dragonbeasts Are Rising” where the band pulls back on the aggression for a guitar instrumental lead-in. Across the board though, all of the songs have catchy and melodic hooks that will be instantly recognized by fans of late 70’s/early 80’s metal.

The band took an interesting twist with this release as they included a bonus disc as part of a limited edition digi-pack that is comprised of alternate recordings of the main disc’s ten songs with death metal vocals. The band’s press release states: “[Y]ou should never forget your roots, right? That’s why the limited edition digipak of the album comes with a bonus CD including the whole record sung with the Debauchery monster voice.” Gurrath’s (cookie) monster vocals on the bonus disc seem to be just a different vocal track on top of the same music but the guttural vocals (which are surprisingly understandable) add a harder edge to the music which makes these alternate versions worthwhile.

Blood God