Review: Blood Has Been Shed

Blood Has Been Shed
““Novella of Uriel””

I sat down and strapped myself into to my gas powered dual shock vibromatic hardcore metal appreciation harness with full intent to delve into this piece of artwork and explore the beauty and riches hidden within.   What I got was a titty twister and slap upside the head.  Maybe I’’ve been soaking up too much of the underground lately. Here’’s the deal. You might as well take chances when working with a style of music not at all geared toward the mainstream. Leave a mark on the world, whether it’s a hickey or a black eye. This is almost a waste of plastic. Hell, this CD could have had 500 free hours of AOL on it. I feel cheated.  This is classic hardcore: driving, sludgy guitars wailing on the same pristine riffs I’ve heard on 30 other albums; textbook double kick hammering out around 666 beats per second; rowr-rowr vocals and general predictability. That’s about it.  I think Howard Jones must have shoved the mic down his own throat to get his sound. I doubt even he can understand what he’s singing, but I’ll assume the lyrics can be summered up with, “Look at me – I am old school.”  He deviates from his monotony on track five, “Intervention” and again on nine, “Of Sand and Sulfur.” He’s got a slick, intense tone and some choice melodies- not that it matters. Aside from a few scattered moments throughout the CD, these are the only songs he shows any dynamic at all. It’s the buildup – the whisper – that makes a scream more powerful. I hear little contrast. It’s as if they have a cherry Mustang in the garage, but prefer to drive a Pinto.  Track one, “Wetwork” is a complex piece that incorporates violin to good effect. Candlelight Vigil is an awesome bagpipe tune, relegated to a short filler track. Why make it a cut-away? Why not work it into any of the other songs? Blood Has Been Shed only gives the minutest taste of what they’re capable of, but they’re squandering their talent by playing it safe.