BLOODHUNTER – The End Of Faith
Musically, the band sits actually between Death’s "Individual Thought Patterns" and the latter Arch Enemy (vocalist Diva Satanica a cross between Angela Gossow and Schuldiner, which is actually impressive) but it is nowhere as creative as the former. To be sure, Bloodhunter knows and handles their instruments well (instrumentals "The Forbidden Zone", "Death & Rebirth") but I can’t help but feel that adding another guitarist would significantly improve the material. As it is now, few tracks stand out, "All These Souls Shall Serve" and "Possessed by Myself", most notably. This being their second album, the songwriting is a mostly subpar ("Spirits of Sin" the worst offender, no pun intended, or was it?) due to lack of truly memorable choruses (a MUST in melodeath!) so we are left with some highlights in riffing and melodies (Eyes Wide Open, Still Standing Up, Let The Storm Come). Nothing is truly groundbreaking here, which, given that this is melodeath, can be overlooked, but some riffs just sound like we’ve heard them many times before in numerous configurations. Moreover, others place this effort closer to the metalcore category, "Possessed by Myself", though an excellent track in its own right, a blatant example, at times downright reeking of the likes of the, thankfully, GOOD All That Remains or Trivium.
What made Death albums truly unique and captivating was the amazing ability of Chuck Schuldiner to put so many seemingly incompatible elements seamlessly into one track, to say nothing of fantastic choruses, and this progression is only attempted by Bloodhunter on the aforementioned closer (if you don’t count the cover) "Possessed by Myself". The remaining tracks are a bit too formulaic for my and melodeath’s intents and purposes. When the cover of Death’s "Crystal Mountain" (off the fantastic "Symbolic" album) is easily the best track on the album you know there’s an issue with songwriting. Admittedly, the execution is serviceable, but the difference is glaring, in my humble estimation.
Bloodhunter does have potential for greatness but many years of hard work is required to even approach their idol(s). Hopefully, I’ll have more favorable things to say about these guys with the future releases.