Album Review – BleedSkin / Blood Reign (2020)

Bang your heads to the brutal display of classic and contemporary Death Metal blasted by this promising Belgian band in their debut album.

Forged in 2016 in the fires of Andenne, a Belgian municipality located in the Walloon province of Namur, BleedSkin are an up-and-coming band highly inspired by iconic names from the 80’s and 90’s the likes of  Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Dying Fetus and Aborted, among others, playing an old school, no bullshit style of Death Metal while singing about controversial topics such as dismemberment, butchery and annihilation. All that hard work and passion for heavy music has already led frontwoman Anouk Debecq, guitarists Benjamin Lefevre and Céline Mazay, bassist Rémy Adam and drummer Julien Vanhees to open for an array of bands including Exuviated, Debauchery and Blood Red Throne since their inception, culminating now in 2020 with the release of their debut effort Blood Reign, a brutal display of classic and contemporary Death Metal that will please all fans of the genre, recorded and mixed by Benoît Polomé at Noise Factory Studio and Soundwave Studio and embraced by a sinister artwork by Venezuelan artist Jesus Lhysta, better known under his moniker Rotted Artist.

A creepy, tribalistic and symphonic horror movie-inspired intro named Perverted Feelings sets the tone for the bestial devastation titled Eternal Hatred, where Benjamin and Céline begin slashing their axes while Anouk screams and roars deeply like an infernal entity, or in other words, this is a high-octane, classic Death Metal tune perfect for slamming into the circle pit, also bringing forward spot-on guitar solos and endless savagery. Once again inspired by renowned acts like Cannibal Corpse, Death and Morbid Angel, the band delivers Obsession, a great headbanging tune with Anouk once again showcasing all her she-wolf skills on vocals and where Julien hammers his drums without a single drop of mercy; and blending the ferocity of Death Metal with the speed of Thrash Metal the band offers us all No One Will Hear You, where Rémy and Julien will make your cranial skull tremble to the thunderous sound of their respective bass and drums. Then sounding as heavy as a stone crusher, it’s time for BleedSkin to pulverize our heads with Schizophrenia, with Benjamin and Céline yet again firing pure hatred from their guitars, and with guest Logan Dykens, the band’s former vocalist, bringing his share of dementia on backing vocals, whereas Point of No Return is an ode to the classic Death Metal sound from the 90’s and the 2000’s, with Anouk getting more and more demented on vocals as the music progresses without a single second of peace for our total delight.

Perversion of Mankind, which touches the complicated subject of pedophilia (and in order not to be censored, Anouk wrote it as if it were a children’s story where the monster is the pedophile), is another avalanche of incendiary riffs, blast beats and venomous vociferations brought forth by BleedSkin, while Silence Is Your Only Way, a song about sexism, violence against women, abortion and rape, is a demolishing composition where the music matches perfectly with the topics discussed (or maybe I should say barked) by Anouk in the lyrics, not to mention how unstoppable the band’s guitar duo sounds with their endless riffs and solos. Then more of their hellish growls and blast beats will penetrate deep inside your skin in The Dead Sale, feeling like Benjamin and Céline want to disintegrate their guitar strings due to the violence they apply to their riffage; followed by Innocent, the album’s second to last blast of classic Death Metal made in Belgium, where Benjamin is spot-on with his wicked guitar solo while Rémy doesn’t stop pounding his bass not even for a single second in a solid display of aggressiveness and rage. Lastly, how about more heaviness, anger and speed to properly close the album? That’s what they offer our metallic ears in Chaos Theory, where Anouk’s deranged, guttural roars are not recommended for the lighthearted, and with Julian dictating the pace with his demonic beats and fills.

BleedSkin’s debut full-length opus can be better appreciated in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show them your utmost support don’t forget to follow such promising band hailing from Belgium on Facebook and on Instagram, to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their sick creations and official videos, and above all that, to click HERE and purchase or stream your favorite version of Blood Reign. As you might have already noticed, those Belgian metallers do not aim at reinventing Death Metal nor anything like that, having as their main goal keeping the fires of classic Death Metal burning bright in the underground and, consequently, offering us fans a very good reason for breaking our necks headbanging and slamming like maniacs. Well, in the end, what else can we ask for in first-class extreme music, right? And thanks to the girls an boys from BleedSkin, we can rest assured we’ll have a lot of fuel to burn into the circle pit to the sound of their visceral music for quite a while.

Best moments of the album: Eternal Hatred, Schizophrenia and Silence Is Your Only Way.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Perverted Feelings 1:51
2. Eternal Hatred 3:18
3. Obsession 3:19
4. No One Will Hear You 3:44
5. Schizophrenia 3:33
6. Point of No Return 4:03
7. Perversion of Mankind 3:33
8. Silence Is Your Only Way 3:55
9. The Dead Sale 3:18
10. Innocent 4:02
11. Chaos Theory 4:03

Band members
Anouk Debecq – vocals
Benjamin Lefevre – lead guitars
Céline Mazay – guitars
Rémy Adam – bass
Julien Vanhees – drums

Guest musician
Logan Dykens – backing vocals on “Schizophrenia”, “Silence Is Your Only Way”, “The Dead Sale” and “Innocent”

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