Released: 2011, AFM
Man, these guys have totally owned the back half of the decade, in terms of Power Metal. Album # 4 for Sweden’s Bloodbound and they have delivered yet another ripper. Keeping the tradition alive we get their ‘Nosferatu’ type-dude mascot on the cover art, this time bursting from the grave, much like the album bursts from your speakers.
An obvious change and highlight is the new vocalist Patrik Johansson. Even though he is the bands 5th singer (!) and has the least street cred / name recognition of all the previous four singers, he does a fantastic job. It’s unbelievable really, that the band had such trouble with the vocal slots, plus a number of other line-up changes, but Bloodbound consistently have kick-ass dudes behind the mike, Patrik included.
Bloodbound have always been just a bit darker and heavier than some of their Swedish contemporaries (Sabaton, Axenstar, etc) and UNHOLY CROSS is no different. Tracks like ‘Message From Hell’, ‘In For The Kill’ and ‘Brothers Of War’ give you a slight idea of the lyrical thrust. Patrik has great pipes leading the charge with conviction and authority.
I’ve always enjoyed the very slight keyboard undertones that are laced through the bands albums, and this is not except. The male choirs are nice and upfront as well, both of these enjoyable sonic components are on evidence on the opening cut ‘Moria’. Ya just gotta sing along when those choirs kick in! The choruses are huge as well adding just enough sweetness to the heavy crunch of the guitar attack. The drums thunder along but don’t always descend into a relentless double-kick and the bass keeps it all nicely grounded.
Bloodbound don’t forget the Power in Power Metal. UNHOLY CROSS is yet another excellent addition to a band that has slowly building a catalogue worthy of respect and admiration in the Metal community.