Next review: » Blood Stain Child - Idolator
Blood Stain Child
Released: 2006, Dockyard 1/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
This band started out on Japan under the name Visionquest. The band changed their name to Blood Stained Child in 2000 and released their debut album SILENCE OF NORTHERN HELL in 2002, which was followed up in 2004 by MYSTIC YOUR HEART - an album that’s only avaliable in Japan. IDOLATOR is the band’s first European album. Their bio states that the band works with three main rules: speed, aggression, and beauty. Even though the band hails from Japan, they have always had a European mindset and sound, which is obvious when you listen to the album.
Blood Stained Child sounds like an offshoot of Swedish acts like In Flames, Darkane, or Dark Tranquility. The band doesn’t add anything new to the genre; instead, they copy all of the above-mentioned acts’ sounds. The only notable difference is that the use of keyboards in Blood Stained Child’s music is more obvious than the other acts.
A few of the songs go into an aggressive thrash tempo and some are in mid-tempo. The vocals vary between death metal and clean vocals throughout the album. To get the authentic European sound, they went to Denmark to work with the famous Tue Madsen who did a wonderful job with the production.
Even if the band sounds like a carbon copy of other bands, I have to give them credit for a few great songs. They have also managed to blend the different vocal styles just right. They should also be given credit for their flawless English; many Japanese acts have problems with the English language, but not Blood Stained Child. I think that the band has great potential to get big outside of Japan if they would only try to get a sound of their own. As it is now, they sound more like a European act than many of the original Europeans bands. They have a lot of things to work on, but if they manage to solve these problems I’m sure the band will perform in many festivals in both Europe and the USA later on.
In short, I can say that IDOLATOR is a perfect album for every fan of Swedish melodic death metal; it’s a fairly good album in general, but it doesn’t impress me.
Killer tracks are “Hype Sonic”, “Final Sky”, “Live Inside”, “Trial Spiral”.
Violator – battery
Ryu – 6 strings electro stream
Aki – technology
Ryo – 4 strings satanic pulse, infernal vox
Shiromasa – 6 strings psycho system
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Blood Stain Child
Released: 2006, Dockyard1
From the land of anime, sushi, and Godzilla comes Blood Stain Child - a rather odd name which really should probably be Bloodstained Child, but nobody ever said translating Japanese into English was easy. Founded in Osaka in 1999 under the name Visionquest, the group went through a few lineup changes before adopting their current moniker in 2000 and signing to Japanese label M&I in 2001. First gaining notoriety in 2001 for having two of their songs used as entrance themes by Japanese pro-wrestler Kensuke Sasaki and a third song as the theme for the 30th anniversary of Japanese pro-wrestling federation NJPW, they have since released three full-length albums: 2002's SILENCE OF NORTHERN HELL, 2004's amusingly-titled MYSTIC YOUR HEART (told you translating wasn't easy...), and 2005's IDOLATOR - the first of their albums to also be released outside Japan when Dockyard 1 put it out in 2006. Produced, mixed, and mastered by Danish knob-twirler Tue Madsen (producer for acts such as Siernia, Aborted, The Haunted, etc) in an attempt to get an in-your-face true "European metal" sound, IDOLATOR does succeed exceptionally well in that aspect.
In fact, on IDOLATOR, Blood Stain Child sounds a good deal like several European bands such as In Flames and Dark Tranquility...and a hell of a lot more like one European metal band in particular, namely Children Of Bodom circa HATECREW DEATHROLL. A good portion of that comparison can be credited to (or blamed on) bassist/vocalist Ryo, whose snarl-screams are a dead ringer for Alexi Laiho's. As for the music, there's no question the machine-gun riffage, overlaid keyboard lines, technical guitar leads, and hammering drums are pure Gothenburg-style melodic death. It's not a total ripoff, though, as the music prominently incorporates elements of techno and electronica in just about every song, frequently breaking down from furious melo-death riffs into dance club music beats provided expertly by keyboardist / mix artist Aki. While I'm hardly what could be called a fan of that style and while I'm not sure it really should stylistically fit when juxtaposed alongside the morbidly depressing lyrics, I must say the group manages to make it work somehow. Cuts like "Final Sky," "Live Inside," and "Trial Spiral" mix ferocity and melody with surgically precise skill while standout cut "Embrace Me" features vicious riffs, hellish screams and effective clean-vocal passages, and a piano theme played over blast-beat drumming...yes, that is every bit as bizarre as it sounds...all in the same song. Unfortunately, there are also parts which are downright "what the...?"-worthy, like the vocal weirdness in parts of the track "Truth," which might well be spoken in Japanese but sounds more like it's being played backwards for some reason. Those segments are few and far between, luckily enough. The promo copy I received from Dockyard1 also seems to be missing a couple tracks that the M&I version has..."Nuclear Trance" and "Life Story"...which is a little disappointing.
Blood Stain Child's mixture of metal and electronica seems to be an interesting combination, and IDOLATOR is a solid dose of melodic death that is mired down only by the fact it sounds far too derivative of its influences. Fans who can't get enough of the Gothenburg style and don't mind hearing a bit of experimentation with techno thrown into the fray should snap this up.
3. Final Sky
4. Live Inside
6. Embrace Me
7. Trial Spiral
10. True Blue (Luna Sea cover)
11. Truth (Bonus Video)
Aki - Keyboards
Ryo - Bass / Vocals
Ryu - Guitar
Shiromasa - Guitar
Violator - Drums
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