01. Beckoning Oblivion
02. Dedication to a Dead Cause
03. Forlorn World
06. Sentient Disease
07. The Quantum Apocalypse
08. Sickening Dogma
09. Illusion Aesthetic
What happened to good old melodeath? In the 90s and early 00’s, melodic death metal was in its prime. As time passed, people moved away from it; and most bands that were good at it either changed their sound or stopped being good at it. There are still a few bands (Insomnium for example) that hold the line, but largely the genre remains stale and on life support. Enter UK’s Bloodshot Dawn. These guys, all on their own, recorded, produced, and released their self-titled debut album into this dwindling scene. As an up and coming band, it’s a precarious position to be in; because arguably most of the things in the genre that are worth doing have already been done since the genre is so specifically defined — or so one would think. Bloodshot Dawn will probably be a surprising breath of fresh air for many, as it dispels certain notions about the genre and instills hope for future endeavors in melodeath.
The first thing that Bloodshot Dawn do very right is the songwriting. Usually, most melodeath bands choose a minor key, and stick to it most of the time. Bloodshot Dawn throw that out of the window very quickly, working with other keys and even changing keys within a song. This makes their songs sound different from each other and keeps them from being stale. Each song contains a healthy dose of riffage, and they take inspiration from closely related genres like black metal, thrash and straight up death metal. Their songs are very powerful, crushing flurries of picking, drumming and growling that are punctuated by memorable and glorious choruses.
Their brand of melodeath is very visceral and fast while still maintaining a melody at all times. Listening to other similar bands, there are usually points in songs where you think “Why is this riff here? It’s not really good and it doesn’t fit the song well,” but that never happens with Bloodshot Dawn. Even though all the songs are of considerable length with an average running time of five minutes, they never feel too long, and all the diverse riffs are in the right place and they actually fit the songs. It’s as if Bloodshot Dawn sat down and studied previous albums by other bands, made note of what worked and what didn’t, and came up with a perfect formula that works amazingly. To top off the cool riffing, there’s also really solid shredding that recalls the work of the Amott brothers (Arch Enemy) and Jeff Loomis.
The second thing that they do very right is the sound. Despite being very DIY and self-funded, Bloodshot Dawn have a sound that rivals the top bands working with the top producers. Everything is clearly audible while being heavy, including even the bass! The drum sound is perfect, the guitars are deep and meaty and crunchy while being clear. The vocals sit just right in the mix. The voice of guitarist/singer Josh McMorran might be off-putting for some at first, because he has an unconventional, throaty voice; but in the grand scheme of things it works well and it’s easy to get used to. After a couple of listens, the vocals just fit and they stop being unconventional, and one might even wonder why more bands don’t do that.
Overall, Bloodshot Dawn have a very powerful sound and extremely proficient songwriting. They bring new life into the genre by being different and modern while taking what made legendary bands so great. This is an incredible debut album and I can’t help but wonder what they will do next. These guys should be big. If anyone can bring melodeath back, these guys have a good chance of doing so. In essence, Bloodshot Dawn are the heroes that Gothenburg needs.
Bloodshot Dawn – Bloodshot Dawn gets…