Album Review – Bloodhunter / Knowledge Was the Price (2022)

Spain’s most ferocious Melodic Death Metal entity offers us all an impressive 55-minute album full of incendiary riffs, blast beats, and the always venomous roars by Diva Satanica.

Almost five years after the release of their critically acclaimed sophomore album The End of Faith, Spanish Melodic Death Metal outfit Bloodhunter is finally back in action with their third full-length installment, beautifully titled Knowledge Was the Price. Formed in 2008 in A Coruña, Galicia, but currently located in the Spanish capital Madrid, the band comprised of the stunning Diva Satanica on vocals, Dani Arcos and Guillermo Starless on the guitars, Daniel Luces on bass and Adrián Perales on drums is on fire throughout the album’s impressive 55 minutes of flammable metal music, all of course spiced up by the top-notch production by Dani Arcos, the production, mixing and recording by Carlos Santos at Sadman Studio, the mastering by Víctor García at Ultramarinos Mastering, the recording by Daniel Luces, and the stylish cover art by Antonio Sicre, turning the album into a must-listen for fans of a good mix of melody, rage and storytelling with venomous vocals.

The opening tune Sharpened Tongues Spitting Venom Inside is very progressive and sinister, spiced up by its wicked lyrics barked by Diva Satanica (“Sharpened tongues spitting venom inside, / The disease is growing, you’re falling, it’s your last sigh. / Repulsive minds create a world full of lies, / Your false awareness infected the world’s demise.”), whereas Adrián kicks off the title-track Knowledge Was the Price with his rhythmic beats accompanied by the strident guitars by Dani and Guillermo in another ass-kicking display of sharp, devilish Melodic Death Metal. In A Twist of Fate to Come the band drinks from the same fountain as renowned acts the likes of Arch Enemy and Soilwork, with Adrián hammering his drums nonstop and, therefore, providing Diva Satanica with exactly what she needs to vociferate like a true she-wolf; and an eerie intro evolves into a neck-breaking feast in Medea’s Guidance, with the metallic bass by Daniel beautifully reverberating in the air. The song could have been a little shorter, though, but nothing to worry about. Then featuring the sensational guest vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, KK’s Priest, Beyond Fear, Iced Earth, Charred Walls of the Damned) we’re treated to Never Let It Rest, where Ripper makes an incendiary, devilish duo with Diva Satanica while the music is simply bestial thanks to the fantastic guitar work by Dani and Guillermo; and more of their piercing guitars are offered to us all in Find Your Inner Fire while Diva Satanica darkly declaims the song’s inspiring lyrics (“Blind Faith – There’s no “tomorrow can wait”. / The Shame – Will be your final disgrace. / All Ends – Even darkness and despair. / Be Brave – Open your arms to self-defense.”).

Investing into a more ferocious, thrilling sonority it’s time for the band to crush us all in The Eye of the Serpent, once again showcasing an amazing job by Adrián with his rhythmic but always demented beats. Put differently, it’s first-class Melodic Death Metal made in Spain, which is also the case in Spreading Your Disease, starting in a somber way to the minimalist guitars by Dani and Guillermo before exploding into another frantic sonority perfect for slamming into the circle pit, also showcasing some sick guitar solos for our total delight. In Nothing Beyond the Realms of Death we face another round of their fusion of melodic, rage and progressiveness, with the intricacy flowing from Adrián’s drums walking hand in hand with the riffage by the band’s guitar duo, whereas an enfolding start to the sound of their harmonious guitars that lasts for almost two minutes morphs into a Stratovarius-ish instrumental tune titled A Relentless Force, followed by The Forsaken Idol, featuring guest vocals by Rosalía Sairem of Therion, a wicked creation by the band that will please all fans of extreme music with Diva Sanatica’s gnarls generating an interesting paradox with Rosalía’s clean vocals. The last original song of the album, The Hunters, brings forward more of the excellent string work by Dani, Guillermo and Daniel while Adrián hammers his drums mercilessly, and as a beyond infernal and heavy-as-hell treat the band blasts their cover version for Children of Bodom’s hit Bodom After Midnight, from their 2000 classic Follow the Reaper (check the original version HERE), with Diva Satanica stealing the spotlight with her roars as usual.

After all is said and done, we can all agree Bloodhunter have outdone themselves with Knowledge Was the Price, stepping up their game and positioning themselves as one of the driving forces of Melodic Death Metal in their homeland. Having said that, you can enjoy their newborn beast in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on, and purchase their new album by clicking HERE or HERE. Diva Satanica and the boys are on absolute fire from start to finish in Knowledge Was the Price, and I’m sure after such intense album they’ll advance even further in their already solid career, cementing their name among other giants of the Melodic Death Metal scene worldwide and, consequently, leaving us eager for more of their music in the near future.

Best moments of the album: Sharpened Tongues Spitting Venom Inside, Never Let It Rest, The Eye of the Serpent and The Forsaken Idol.

Worst moments of the album: Medea’s Guidance and A Relentless Force.

Released in 2022 Maldito Records

Track listing
1. Sharpened Tongues Spitting Venom Inside 3:34
2. Knowledge Was the Price 3:45
3. A Twist of Fate to Come 2:49
4. Medea’s Guidance 5:23
5. Never Let It Rest 4:39
6. Find Your Inner Fire 3:40
7. The Eye of the Serpent 5:05
8. Spreading Your Disease 5:16
9. Nothing Beyond the Realms of Death 4:47
10. A Relentless Force 4:05
11. The Forsaken Idol 4:03
12. The Hunters 4:30
13. Bodom After Midnight (Children of Bodom cover) 3:38

Band members
Diva Satanica – vocals
Dani Arcos – guitars
Guillermo Starless – guitars
Daniel Luces – bass
Adrián Perales – drums

Guest musicians
Tim “Ripper” Owens – vocals on “Never Let It Rest”
Rosalía Sairem – vocals on “The Forsaken Idol”
Raúl Plaza – bass

Album Review – Halestorm / ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP (2013)

Why instead of launching two EPs with cover songs in less than two years didn’t they launch only one full album?

Rating6

ReAniMate 2.0I’m not a fan of Halestorm nor will ever buy any of their albums, but when I saw they launched another covers EP which included one of my favorite Priest tracks of all time, Dissident Aggressor, I decided to give them a try. In 2011 they launched ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP with cover versions for Slave To The Grind (Skid Row) and Out Ta Get Me (Guns N’ Roses), among others, and now they come up with another covers EP. This either means that they simply love playing songs from their biggest influences, or that they don’t trust their own music that much, because I can’t understand why they had to launch two covers EPs instead of only one full album, such as the magnificent Undisputed Attitude recorded by Slayer back in 1996.

Dissident Aggressor opens the EP and it’s undoubtedly the best track of all, although I prefer a million times the version from Slayer and a billion times the original song from Judas Priest. Anyway, there’s nothing special in this version, it’s just a well-played cover song. Then comes Get Lucky from Daft Punk, and here we have one of those cases where the cover version is superior to the original, such as DevilDriver’s version of Sail (Awolnation), mainly because the original song is not really heavy, but again nothing special. In Shoot to Thrill (AC/DC), they turned an all-time classic into a regular song, despite all the effort from Lzzy to sing as “Hard N’ Heavy” as possible. Hell is for Children from Pat Benatar and Gold Dust Woman from Fleetwood Mac are so close to the original ones that, in my opinion, do not add any true value to the EP. Finally, their version for Marilyn Manson’s 1996 is not as good as the original one, and it even lacks the energy Manson had when he recorded it.

HALESTORMThe album art is too generic, especially if compared to the first covers EP. And regarding the musicians, although they are all pretty good I guess no one cares too much about any of them except for the beautiful and competent lead singer Elizabeth “Lzzy” Hale: she’s the only reason why Halestorm became so famous in the world of music, and the only thing that can keep the band alive in the following years. Nevertheless, her voice might be powerful but it’s certainly not unique; if you listen to Mia Coldheart, from the Swedish band Crucified Barbara, you’ll understand why I’m saying this. By the way, Crucified Barbara is not as famous as Halestorm only because (GUESS WHAT?) they’re not from North America.

In summary, it’s an interesting EP with some good covers from a band that is currently under the spotlights, but that’s it. And if they launch another ReAniMate covers EP in 2014, well, then they’ll take the 1st place of “best professional band in the world that only plays cover songs” from Finland’s Children of Bodom.

Best moments of the album: Dissident Aggressor and Shoot To Thrill.

Worst moments of the album: As I previously mentioned, the fact that it is their second covers EP turns it into some kind of “rip-off”.

Released in 2013 Atlantic Records

Track listing
1. Dissident Aggressor (Judas Priest cover) 3:12
2. Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover) 3:08
3. Shoot to Thrill (AC/DC cover) 5:07
4. Hell is for Children (Pat Benatar cover) 4:46
5. Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac cover) 4:10
6. 1996 (Marilyn Manson cover) 4:22

Band members
Lzzy Hale – lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, keyboard
Arejay Hale – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Joe Hottinger – lead guitar, backing vocals
Josh Smith – bass guitar, backing vocals