Tower of Doom Records – 2009 – Philippines
Even if it’s well beyond most people’s musical radar, the Filipino metal scene does have its fair share of underrated talent. It’s a rather tragic state of affairs since extreme metal would be a lot better off if it gave Bloodshedd the recognition they deserve. The quintet used to go for tried-and-tested death metal in the vein of all the usual influences until this sophomore album, suitably christened “Spare No One,” where Bloodshedd not only peddle the familiar extreme ingredients but explore realms previously-untrodden, like Jazz.
But you wouldn’t be able to tell at first, not with the chilling intro “The Time Has Been Cast Down” and its bareknuckle follow up “This Lifelong Enmity.” The band’s newfound appetite for variety is first sated on the straighforward thrasher “Collective” where the bridge to the guitar solo is interrupted by a brief segue of loungeful Jazz. Done with such elegance and unexpected grace, it proves that the axemen in Bloodshedd—Bong Ecat and the since departed Bike Vinas—maintain a sophisticated pedigree beneath their musical bread-and-butter. Past its third track the album intensifies with the chaotic “Time For You To Die” that’s driven by numbing blastbeats and the fiery vocals from Jojo Book, a frontman who has gone down the black metal route (i.e. Dark Funeral and Immortal) with his spike encrusted stage attire during gigs.
Past the album’s middle Bloodshedd prove they also know how to write memorable tunes, which explains why “Leading The Dead” lingers in your brain long after its official running time. Once the incinerating “Beast 696” has burned a hole through your speakers the music takes a short break with a mood-setting interlude (“Time To Change All”). By the time it fades out the title track’s arrival marks Bloodshedd’s return to the business of giving people ear hemmorhoids. To the listener’s surprise, “Spare No One” climaxes at the epic “This House of Termites” where Jazz and Latin influences soften Bloodshedd’s gruffness just when the album nears its bludgeoning closer “Point Blank Target On God.”
Production-wise, Bloodshedd don’t veer too far from their debut album’s* gritty mix and “Spare No One”’s monstrous cover art stays true to the previous effort’s graphic theme. Yet for all their consistency the band have now brought themselves to the technical frontier of death metal.
*2007’s “Eye of the Pessimist”