The Swedish metal band, Bloodbound returns with their second studio effort, Book of the Dead. This is a band that often gets lumped into the black or death metal category, but to me isn’t fitting of the music they put out. Their lyrics are often dark subject matter, but the songs are highly listenable. I would consider this group’s sound a cross between Iron Maiden and possibly Helloween.
Book of the Dead is the first disc, featuring singer Michael Bormann. Michael is well known in Europe for his time spent in the band Jaded Heart. I have several releases in my collection with Michael as the front man, so I was interested to hear the new Bloodbound CD. It seems like an odd pairing for him to join a band like Bloodbound (Imagine Jon Bon Jovi joining a metal band like Armored Saint as a comparison) but it actually works very well.
Bloodbound has a sound that is very tight and polished. The reason for it is the roster of seasoned musicians in this band. Two Bloodbound members, bass and keyboard player Fredrik Bergh and lead guitarist Tomas Olsson have been playing together for a long time in the band Street Talk. Both Fredrik and Tomas are the primary song writers on all of the 11 songs on this disc.
Sign of the Devil and Book of the Dead are very cool songs that I replay a lot. The Tempter reminds me of something Iron Maiden would do.
Drummer Pell Akerline sets the high speed pace of Bless the Unholy, and Tomas Olsson provides the guitar noodling and Fredrik Bergh adds the haunting back up vocals. It is an interesting track that is growing on me more with every listen.
After reading the lyrics to Lord of the Battle, I liked this song a whole more than I did on the first pass. It is a well written song, but the chorus may be a little too lengthy to drive the song home.
Flames of Purgatory has that monster bass and guitar riff that reminds me of Iron Maiden again. This is another song that was helped out by the lyrics that came with the CD booklet. On the first pass, I didn’t care for this song. Once I could read along with the lyrics, I started liking this song a lot more.
Into Eternity is one of those power metal songs where the band tries to play at a pace that is far too fast. I do not enjoy songs like this. Yes, the musicianship is good, but this is not for me.
Black Heart is a low tempo ballad that has a sound similar to some of the Scorpions low key songs. It is another highlight on Book of the Dead.
Black Shadows is another hard driving track that I found myself repeating. The guitars of Tomas Olsson really kick on this track.
Not even the lyrics could keep me interested in the song, Turn To Stone. I think this song is just a little too out there for me lyrically.
Seven Angels clocks in at over 7 minutes in length. This is another song that borrows from Iron Maiden’s high paced bass riff. It is a little too long to hold my attention.
Book of the Dead offers a few great tracks, and some that are just average. Power Metal fans may find some of the faster paced tracks more enjoyable than I did. As a whole, it is a solid effort by the new band line up. I hope this band can mature, and produce more tunes for another release in the future.
You can listen to more tracks at the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Sign Of The Devil
- The Tempter
- Book Of The Dead
- Bless The Unholy
- Lord of the Battle
- Flames Of Purgatory
- Into Eternity
- Black Heart
- Black Shadows
- Turn To Stone
- Seven Angels