Released: 2012, AFM Records
Bloodbound returns with their fifth album and at this point you are either on board with the Swedish powermetalers or you are not. Either way, IN THE NAME OF METAL is unlikely to make old fans jump ship, or inspire new fans to board for the voyage to metal Valhalla. IN THE NAME OF METAL trods the familiar footsteps of many metal bands by extolling the virtues of heavy metal from album title to the album cover. I have always felt the band’s demon mascot was out of place with the music, but in this case the album cover more accurately points to the sounds within. Alas, I do not need any more prodding about how great metal is, but as Nicke Andersson was quoted in David Perri’s excellent 2008 interview for Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, “If you’re into any kind of underground music, I think you have to be really dedicated to keep up with it. Because it’s not like you get pats on the back for it.” Thus Bloodbound has decided to do the patting for you.
Despite the patently clichéd nature of IN THE NAME OF METAL, it is actually a solid and enjoyable album. You would be forgiven for running for the hills after the first lyric, “You say I’m evil, you say I suck. My hair’s too long, I don’t give a fuck. I’m doing nothing out of control, My music’s wrong I don’t care at all. You say I’m dirty, I smell like shit. All dressed in black and my clothes don’t fit. I’m a sinner excuse, me m’am. You take your moral, I don’t give a damn.” Embarrassing (or awesome) as that lyric is, you could argue Bloodbound’s strength has never been as lyricists. Undeniably the music is kick-ass though, Bloodbound’s brand of power metal continuing in its commitment to traditional metal and classic power metal, recalling the best of Hammerfall and Primal Fear. “Metal Heads Unite” delivers a traditional slow gallop that because of its catchy chorus should inspire the crowds when played live, and could easily have held its own on GLORY TO THE BRAVE. Actually, there several extremely catchy songs like “Bounded By Blood”, “Sons of Babylon” and the previously mentioned title track.
As expected, the Olsson brothers grounded guitar riffing is top notch and Patrik Johansson’s vocals are splendid. Complementing the fine music is a big sounding production job from Jonas Kjellgre that helps propel these songs to greater glory. There is no denying that you will have to wade through some lyrical cheese, but the end result is a fantastic classic power metal album that unflinchingly carries the torch reignited by Hammerfall some 15 years ago. Fans of Hammerfall, Primal Fear, and all classic power metal fans will be impressed with IN THE NAME OF METAL.