Reviewed: January 2021
Released: 2020, Napalm Records
Reviewer: Rossy Maguire
Bloodletter hails from Chicago, Illinois. A city that has a turbulent past and that has been home to a booming rock and metal-scene ever since the 60’s up to now. A shared love for metal brought these four skilled musicians together and led to the birth of Bloodletter. The band wasted no time and started to rehearse and compose ferociously. After having established a solid live reputation in and out of their hometown the band also found their way to the studio several times. The overall response to their releases and shows over the years had led the band to the next step in their career. With several EPs and a full length under their belt already the band set out to record what was to become the soon-to-be classic album ‘Funeral Hymns’. Eleven tracks of furious and raging thrash metal with slight crossover hints.
Kicking off the brilliant album is the opening track Absolution Denied. Setting the scene with an epic guitar intro, the listener is immediately thrown into the chaos of thrash metal around 0:45 with the sounds of heavy drum rolls/kick drums, overdriven guitars, and growling vocals. Throughout this track was a great sense of rhythm and got me incredibly excited for what the album had to offer.
Building upon the first few tracks, The Grim takes the thrashy elements and continues to provide this welcoming sound to keep the listener engaged and headbanging along. This idea is carried out throughout Funeral Bell and Burnt Beyond Recognition, where the listener doesn’t get a break in heaviness or the craziness of thrash. However, I did find Death Masks to Blood, Bone And Ash taking a slower approach to the intro but not for long so that the thrash metal elements come back to life again. Regardless of the slower intro, I consistently imagined a crazy mosh pit happening during these tracks, which I have no doubt would happen.
I particularly enjoyed listening to Death Masks as the slower intro with single chords was a pleasant diversion from the heaviness but around 0:22, a great rhythmic section is unfolded and found myself head-banging along to this quite often. Also, the guitar solo was great with double kick drum fillers to immerse me further.
Ending the album is I Am The End, subsequently the longest track. Opening the track gave a stoner metal-esque vibe but again, this didn’t last long until 0:49 where thrash is reintroduced once again. It is a very heavy track but a great decision to end the incredible album.
One criticism I did find is I found some of the tracks sounded the same as the previous one, but this didn’t sway my interest, and instead kept me engaged with the entire album and excited for future releases from Bloodletter.