Reviewed: May 2021
Released: 2021, Rockshots Records
Reviewer: Andrea Di Stasio
“Angry young men become grumpy old men” – Bloody Hell breaks their 6 year-long silence, coming back to the heavy metal scene with this unique statement that accompanies their second album “The Bloodening”. What can I say? I wish that all grumpy men could turn bottled emotions into music, because this album rocks!
And what better way to start a heavy metal album than with a song about a terrible hangover? The clean guitars, in pure Metallica style, soon explode into a fast tune: “Hangover Rider” is the kind of song that you want to hear in an open-air festival, possibly at the very centre of the moshpit.
The first single from the album, “Burn Witch Burn” is an excellent choice to break Bloody Hell’s long hiatus: catchy, somehow punk-ish, I can see this as another song translating well to the live domain, with the crowd singing along while enjoying every moment of it.
“In The Night We Burn”, the second single from the album, is my absolute favourite: a song where the influence of Judas Priest and Maiden is undeniable, but without any risk to suffocate the personality and talent of this band. The surprising bass solo, guitar work and warm vocals make for an absolute crowd-pleaser. Marko Skou delivers a great vocal performance, I loved especially the chorus where the listener can really have a feeling of the vocal range of the singer.
Every song has something different, something to say, whether it’s with an interesting vocal or instrumental variation or a snappy chorus and that is why I have enjoyed this album so much.
No stone is left unturned, this band is not afraid to experiment! While Marko Skou explores several singing styles, Jaakko Halttunen, Esa Orjatsalo and Atte Martinen show expert command and taste in their performances.
“Smoking” and “What The Hell” reminded me of more 80’s hard rock tunes, while “Bite” has the same punk soul as “Burn Witch Burn”. “Kiesma” has a more contemporary approach: it wouldn’t be out of place on a latter-day Saxon or Accept album, and the 12 string guitar intro and the clarity and depth of production make it one of the highlights of the album.
Fans both new and old will be pleased, as I am sure that everyone can find something for them in this album. I have personally enjoyed “The Bloodening” and I hope that I won’t have to wait 6 years for the next full-length work!