With the caveat that I realize exactly how strange a way this is to start a piece like this…I have a deep and abiding dislike for almost all ‘modern’ sounding metal. Slick songwriting? Slicker production? Actual hooks? Fuck that. If I wanted sterile, I’d start hanging out in hospitals or something.
That being said, Sweden’s Black Lion Records has a knack for finding and signing bands I end up liking from genres that I don’t. For example, I actually really like the recently released Meadows End record The Grand Antiquation despite being baffled as to why melodic death metal is even still a thing in 2019. So it should be no surprise that Black Lion just unleashed a modern death metal album I can actually get behind as well.
The band in question: Dutch brutalizers Bloodphemy, whose second full-length In Cold Blood is due out on April 12 (grab a copy here or here). However, calling Bloodphemy ‘modern’ is something of a misclassification. They actually formed back in 2000, but disbanded in 2003 after releasing a single demo entitled Section 8. The Utrecht-based quartet reactivated in 2015 and have been steadily hacking their way through the European death metal scene ever since.
In Cold Blood picks up where 2017’s Bloodline left off, and not just in terms of their similarly sanguine titles. Bloodphemy specializes in early Florida-style death metal – think Morbid Angel and Obituary – with a lyrical fixation on murder and mental illness, but doesn’t attempt to replicate that Sunshine Studios kind of production. Yeah, there’s a slickness to it, and the songs have their share of hooks…but both are incredibly easy for a ‘recorded on a potato or GTFO’ type like myself to forgive when it rips so fucking hard.
We’re premiering the lyric video for “Out of the Box” here today at the Vault, and this song goes HARD from first note to last. The double-time riffs are sick, the half-time riffs are even sicker, and that swinging, thrashy section is risking a class-action lawsuit for the number of cases of whiplash it’s bound to induce. Check it out below, and then snag yourself a copy from Black Lion Records.