On their sophomore album, AN UNRELENTING ASSAULT, Leamington, Ontario’s Bloodshoteye live up to its title…and then some. “Deathcore” is the band’s claim to fame and the musical roots are certainly as brutal as anything Immolation or Suffocation ever penned but thrash, grind and a slight hardcore edge also drift in. Like fellow purveyors of deathcore, All Shall perish, Walls of Jericho and Despised Icon, Bloodshoteye immerses themselves in blastbeats, vicious vocals and pit-friendly breakdowns but Bloodshoteye also brings in some slower, moody sections and clean vocals that shake things up a bit. As he did with 2004’s WITHOUT ANY REMORSE, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe shows up, this time handling vocal production, while Kataklysm’s J-F Dagenais handles co-production along with the band. As songwriters and musicians, AN UNRELENTING ASSAULT is a far better album than the debut bringing in some melody without forsaking brutality while clearing up some of the chaotic messiness. However, besides the heaviness factor, there isn’t much here that hasn’t been done to death (no pun intended), yet with its crossover appeal, the death metal, metalcore and hardcore contingent should find plenty to get nutty with.
“Lock and Load” is a barnburner of an opener as it rages out of the speakers with, yes, an unrelenting assault. The pummeling drums of new skin-basher, Mike Wiebenga, are especially noteworthy but Jessica Desjardins’ unholy growls blister in their intensity. Despised Icon’s Alex Erian shadows Desjardins on “The Last Laugh” and the track’s melodic guitar flourish is offset by Desjardins’ vilified lyrics (“Who’s laughing last now you fucking cunt”). “Mourning In Silence” is a dark, moody track with Desjardins showing off a capable clean vocal, as well as her snarling roar. Shane Ivy’s arpeggio riffing on the slow-burn of “Foul Play” adds an interesting melody to the track. Desjardins pens her most personal lyrics on “Torn Between Two Worlds,” which examines her difficult duality between motherhood and musician.
What ultimately weighs down AN UNRELENTING ASSAULT is the length of the songs. There are only nine in number but they average nearly five minutes apiece and could have used some editing to give them a sharper, harder edge. The energy that is created by the opening third of the album disappears around the midway point and is lost almost completely by the end. Also, the metalcore horse has been thoroughly beaten and much of what Bloodshoteye is doing gets lost in the sea of other bands clamoring to be noticed. The band certainly knows how to tear things up musically but they need something to set them apart other than the fact that the vocalist is a female. For a rage-filled throttle, AN UNRELENTING ASSAULT gets the job done but I don’t see Bloodshoteye rising above the pack until they can bring something else to the table.
KILLER KUTS: “Lock and Load,” “The Last Laugh,” “Mourning In Silence,” “Foul Play”
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