Released: 2006, VicRecords
Although many of the new artists deriving inspiration from early Suffocation records articulate a neo-death-thrash medium, and Suffocation's own work possesses a self-dismantling deathrash skein, Blood Rainbow's oeuvre (from what I've listened to), while giving obeisance to the archetypal artists, is irreducible to any single classic-metal tradition. The easy categorization would be "brutal-tech death with a melodic (Swede) twist." However, the problem with the aforementioned description is that it simplifies Blood Rainbow too much. If you want a sonic depiction: Think REALM OF ECSTACY (Thanatos) mixed with WINDS OF CREATION (Decapitated) mixed with A FLAME TO THE GROUND BENEATH (Lost Horizon(seriously)).
Typically, when I listen to a newer death metal act, I often contemplate whether it would be more enjoyable to listen to the music or watch "Ferngully." However, every now and again I'll get a record like the new Blood Rainbow. SMELTERIES OF DAMNATION, as with Horna's AANIA YOSSA, challenges the sedimented hypocrisies and blind spots within the extreme metal status quo. Unlike AANIA YOSSA, however, Blood Rainbow's new record has favored a more melodious, even virtuosic, medium. Futhermore, when I say "virtuosic" I mean it in a purely competent song-writing sense. No, Florian Juhasz and Gergely Naray cannot play on the same level as Joe Stump. However, they certainly craft a more coherent song than anything within the Reign of Terror discography. There are almost shades of Bold Thrower's THE FOURTH CRUSADE in Blood Rainbow's music - not so much sonically - but more so structurally. Riffs are spaced properly, and given room to breathe. Guitar solos are tight and, in Blood Rainbow's case, even extravagant. SMELTERIES OF DAMNATION, despite the somewhat awkward title, is one of the tightest most coherent melodic metal releases I've heard in a long while.
Questions of originality and identity become hopelessly vexed through the brave new virtual world's harboring of infinite possibilities for dissimulation. The creation and dissemination of simulacra has certainly had it's impact on newer forms of melodic metal (try listening to the radio). And Blood Rainbow stands out from this by utilizing some key features. Firstly, the rhythm section of this band could play in Krisiun, and what I mean by that is: many newer melodic artists are incapable of creating an all-out crushing sound - where as - Blood Rainbow is more than capable. The end result is that SMELTERIES OF DAMNATION doesn't rely on guitar leads as it has a strong blast vertebrae to keep everything crunching and grinding. Secondly, their incorporation of the occasional groove mid-pace riffing is neither core or goonish - rather, it brings to mind PIERCED FROM WITHIN and PLANISPHAERIUM (Wormed)...conversely, at the same time, Blood Rainbow refuses to eschew their ubiquitous Kai Hansen influence, thus, creating a very bizarre, and certainly listenable, dynamic. I'm not sure if it's as marketable as In Flames, but if you're like me, and that Gothenburg shit annoys the piss out of you, Blood Rainbow might be a healthy alternative.
On a final note, I initially researched this band on the metal-archives. Anyway, under "lyrical subjects" Blood Rainbow has listed "Prehistoric/Ancient Times, Dinosaurs." It is with some frustration that I reveal that SMELTERIES OF DAMNATION doesn't really contain any of those aforementioned themes. Perhaps I'm in the minority here, and maybe I just have weird (nerdy) interests, but I would love to see prehistory explored in future Blood Rainbow records. Shit, onto-epistemological purposes aside, if they write a song about the Permian extinction, and do some Karl Sanders-esque liner notes, the album will automatically get a 5 star rating. Well, unless it sucks.
Conclusion: SMELTERIES OF DAMNATION is an enjoyable death metal release. Essentially, it's a fun record and there's no way else to put it. There's nothing assembly line about these Hungarians, and that's certainly refreshing. Definitely worth checking out.
Cheers from the land of Erzsebet Bathory and Leo Szilard.
P.S. For anyone that reads my shitty reviews - "Smelteries" - that is, the word itself - should be placed sous rature (as far as extreme metal goes) permanently.