Ah, what greater test of opposing values and barely quantifiable metal sub-genre clashes than a freshly juiced mixture of technical and melodic death metal? In fact Bloodshot Dawn had hacked and pranced their way through two middling full-lengths that espoused shred-weighted Euro-prog melodeath like Allegaeon with and something akin to the post-melodic metalcore of Shadows Fall. The first album showcased some talented fellows with a decent sense of melodramatic extreme metal though the second (‘Demons’) rocketed past any and all old school influence into a sterile modernization of melodic death metal. The artless machinated mixture of technical death metal guitar exercises, generic melodic death metal riffing, and groove metal vocals made for a dull ride. Four years after ‘Demons’ made a small name for Bloodshot Dawnm they’ve returned with a fully renewed line-up that ditched everyone apart from their founding guitarist/vocalist. As a result ‘Reanimation’ feels like a refocused vision of what they were doing on ‘Demons’ that largely reiterates only on McNorran‘s impressive lead guitar style.
‘Reanimation’ isn’t highlighted by choruses, poignant lyrics, or inventive progressive sections and instead chooses to use guitar pyrotechnics and melodic leads to pad out the less interesting approach to rhythm guitar work. The result is akin to a technical death metal version of Arch Enemy circa 1997 with entire songs building and releasing around guitar hero moments. Considering the success of progressive modern melodic death metal bands like Omnium Gatherum and Allegaeon alongside the technical/melodic skills of groups like Quo Vadis and Arsis ‘Reanimation’ feels a bit dated and unimaginative. Considering the possibilities of combining technical and melodic death metal ideas it is decidedly generic, and coasts on its considerable polish and shred-energetics alone.
Complaints aside, the initial five tracks on this album feature a litany of guitar tricks that are mystifying bits of shred-fused 00’s melodeath music that carry remarkably unchallenging listening value. In some ways it recalls the bombast of peak Soilwork fused with the flippance of De Lirium’s Order, but it is all flair and no real musical achievement. A heavy band breaking things up with licks that belong on a Joe Satriani album is nothing new or interesting, as pleasant as tracks like “Graviton Nightmare” are, and the death metal elements deliver little more than unnecessary roughness and samey noise surrounding the guitar heroics. By all means I believe this will be a remarkable record for folks who are into this type of popcorn-poppin’ death metal though the appeal is lost on me after what seems like decades of bands doing this sound better and developing it further. Rote stuff beyond some inspired lead guitar hysterics.
|Released||January 12, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Bloodshot Dawn on Facebook|
All swag and no rhythm. 2.65/5.0
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