Bloodshedd – Spare No One

Bloodshedd – Spare No One – 4/5

Assuming I haven’t driven out everyone with my unconventional interests of late, and maybe it’s thanks to general frustration and annoyance that my sugar coated disposition has been replaced by one thirsting for something a little more aggressive but for the past few hours I have had this on repeat, and despite being quite far from my usual genre of choice – death/thrash – is an excellent example of what I would love to dive into and discover more often. Usually when you combine a style with a somewhat limited scope for versatility with another that has even less, you get a very formulaic result that fails to feel original, but this little known band from the Philippines have side-stepped this issue entirely.

Yes, there’s still the customary introductory track creating a stereotypically slow build-up, the vocals are fitting and nicely high pitched without straying obliquely into blackened territory, and whilst perhaps a little monotonous they never detract from the piece at hand. The drumming is solid enough without relying on repetitive blasting except for the most simple of sections, lacking bite in the standard ‘tech death’ fashion of doing things but with enough creativity to stave off becoming ‘just a metronome’ in the back, and the bass is almost impossible to discern in the production, but my jaded experience with the genre would expect nothing more of them.

The crux of this style of music is – and probably always will be – rested squarely on the shoulders of those playing the guitar; aggressive and dissonant twin harmonies wailing with a cacophony of riffs ranging from the technical ‘Anata’ mentality, still maintaining a jarring sense of melody, to the mild exodus worship. Everything thus far probably sounds a little lacklustre, but they manage to go one step further bringing them out of the depths of mediocrity. Now I’ve heard of jazz having an influence on Death Metal drumming, but this is the first time I’ve heard Jazz Fusion being slapped in the middle of a guitar riff; the solo’s don’t just merely shred chaotically, they meander and groove and slide around in an effigy of smooth technicality, and it’s integrated in a way that feels a natural fit.

Despite the bad name, their sound is technical enough that the tracks never descend into monotony yet they never forget to include melodies within the composition; no aspect relents on the aggression but they aren’t so blinded by their quest for brutality that everything becomes bland as a result; the shredding is still chaotic and dissonant but it never feels like random notes, taking pointers from their jazz influences in how to shred melodically, and they aren’t afraid to slow things down for more delicate interludes. No, they aren’t doing anything ‘outside the box,’ but this little known band from the most unlikely of places manages does everything the genre promises.

Highlights: Time For You to Die, Beast 696, This House of Termites