This month, though, was different. I got a copy of Bloodshot Dawn's new album with Terrorizer, and gave it a listen. So impressed was I that I dug out the pile of random assorted CDs in my "to deal with later" pile and dug out a couple of other covermount albums I've received in the last few months.
Bloodshot Dawn - Self Titled
Bloodshot Dawn are pretty new on the scene, having just release their debut self-titled album. It's a heavy mix of brutal death metal with some thrash thrown in and some insanely good riffage thanks to the dual lead guitars. The combination of explosive drum work and those guitars make for an eye opening experience. Each song works this unrelenting force with some quite intricate melodic sections.
The album itself is very well produced. The sound is deep and resounding and feels full and overwhelming. The artwork, too, is something to behold. Having seen a sample of the full CD booklet on No Clean Singing's review I'm wondering if the freebie cardboard sleeve just doesn't cut it. This is heavy metal as a work of art.
Mortad - The Myth Of Purity
When I got the Mortad CD, I was nagged by a feeling that I should know who these guys are. And so I should, because they played Bloodstock last year. Hearing them now makes me wish I'd thought to see them when I had the chance.
Mortad are a female-fronted death metal band founded and by vocalist Somi Arian. Somi was raised in Iran and started Mortad in 2010 in London. The lyrical content, then, is very political. It also resonates into your eardrums and thumps its way into your brain. Much of the vocal is death growls, but there are screams and even clean vocals worked in too. Probably the most earwormy track is the anthemic "I'm Not Interested In Being Interesting" with its chanted chorus sure to be shouted back by the audience during live sets.
Zonderhoof - Hakken
With a name like Zonderhood, what else could these Welsh metalheads be than stoner/doom/groove metal? I'm not sure what label (if any) the band use, but that seems good enough to give a summary of the band's eclectic style. The track names back this up, with such wonders as "Smoking Ears Screaming Teeth", "Hogslayer" and "Bring Me The Head Of The Shark God".
Musically, the distorted, bass heavy sound reminds me of a cross between Engines Of Armageddon and Mastodon, while the clashing cymbals and drum work remind me of the heaviest bits of Pelican. It all makes for an enjoyable mix of riffs and detuned, gut rumbling heaviness. The band made a conscious decision to avoid vocals to allow the listener to focus on the music, and it works bloody well. The sound is immersive and complex, drawing in the unwary listener and, from personal experience, making them forget whatever the hell else they were supposed to be doing. Like work. Also, the album art consists of a hog in a pentagram. Which is awesome.