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
My dear metalheads, how about we celebrate SEVEN FUCKIN’ YEARS of The Headbanging Moose in great fashion with one of the most charismatic, hardworking and talented growlers of the current metal scene? Not only she will haunt your soul with her wicked screams and roars, but she’s also a stunning alternative model and a collaborator of one of the best metal magazines in her home country. I’m talking about the venomous she-wolf Rocío Vázquez, better known by her incendiary moniker Diva Satanica, the frontwoman for Spanish Melodic Death Metal band Bloodhunter and more recently for the international all-female Thrash Metal horde Nervosa, kicking some serious ass with her onstage performance and her beyond potent vocals wherever she goes. Are you ready to have Diva Satanica screaming like a beast right in your face on our humble tribute to such amazing exponent of the Spanish Extreme Metal scene?
Born on June 25, 1988 in La Coruña, Galícia, in the North-West of Spain, known as “the land of witches”, but currently residing in Madrid, the capital city of Spain, Diva Satanica is a lover of all kinds of music, but of course she nurtures a special, deep passion for Rock N’ Roll and almost all subgenres of Heavy Metal, especially the ones that suit her needs of talking about feelings. As mentioned by our unstoppable diva in one of her interviews, no one in her family enjoys metal music and in the beginning it was really hard for her to find friends with the same taste in music, but she managed to find her place in society as we can all witness now. In addition, although she said she was terrified the first time she listened to a Death Metal band, due to the fact she didn’t feel comfortable with melodic singing she decided to give growling a try, and well, we must all agree it was the best decision in her life, offering us all fans of heavy music the furious and thrilling creations brought forth by our diva together with her henchmen from Bloodhunter.
In regards to Bloodhunter, the band started about a year before Diva Satanica joined them, more specifically in 2008 in La Coruña (but also currently based in Madrid), by the hands of sole founding member, guitarist and main songwriter Dani Arcos, also known as Fenris, to develop some demos that didn’t fit at his other bands at that time, even with a melodic singer in the beginning. It was after several changes in their lineup and concept when Diva Satanica finally joined the band, currently comprised of our metal lady and Fenris, of course, together with guitarist G. Starless, bassist Daniel Luces and drummer Marcelo Aires. However, she only started singing (and growling) for the band in 2012, after writing the lyrics for a few of their songs and joining their rehearsals, and according to Diva Satanica her bandmates had to be very patient with her in the beginning as she used to sing looking to the wall instead of looking to the band, but from that moment on things started to happen for them, culminating with the release of their debut demo The First Insurrection, in 2013.
It was just a matter of time until the release of their debut full-length opus, self-titled Bloodhunter, which came to light in 2014 and quickly made a huge impact on the local Spanish scene, gathering the attention of fans and critics not only in Spain but anywhere else in the world where high-quality Melodic Death Metal is appreciated. A couple of years later, in 2017, the band released their sophomore effort, titled The End of Faith, showcasing a huge evolution in terms of sound quality, creativity, violence and, above all, in Diva Satanica’s guttural vocals, presenting a much more demonic, piercing and thrilling side of our devilish banshee. Apart from their two studio albums, Bloodhunter also released a couple of singles through the years, those being Ages of Darkness, in 2014, which was featured on a compilation called Oráculo Magazine: From the Shadows Vol.I, and a very entertaining cover version for Helloween’s all-time classic I Want Out, in 2018, where Diva Satanica shares the vocal duties with Spanish vocalist and guitarist Leo Jiménez, known for his solo band and other projects such as Stravaganzza and Saratoga. In addition to that, Bloodhunter also offered us fans a few more amazing cover songs, with their version for Arch Enemy’s hit Bury Me an Angel, featured on a compilation called Hardcore Hits Cancer Vol. III in 2018, Death’s Crystal Mountain, and more recently their rendition for Cradle of Filth’s demolishing tune Gilded Cunt, showing all of our diva’s versatility and range as the fantastic Extreme Metal singer she is.
As we don’t have anything official yet with Diva Satanica fronting the thrashing girls from Nervosa except for a live chat done in June 2020 with the “four horsewomen”, Brazilian guitarist and founder Prika Amaral, Italian bassist Mia Wallace (The true Endless, Triumph of Death, Niryth, Abbath), Greek drummer Eleni Nota (Lightfold, Mask of Prospero, Simplefast) and of course our beloved Diva Satanica, let’s talk a little about her previous bands, projects and special appearances in an array of bands from the most diverse styles, starting with a band she fronted from 2015 until 2019, Spanish Progressive/Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore band Outreach. Despite her short stint with Outreach, she recorded with the band the full-length Ephemeral Existence and the single Insane Mind, both in 2019, showcasing all her range and potency throughout the entire album (which I highly recommended you take a listen at).
Such multi-talented metal diva would obviously have tons of distinguished influences in her style and career, and despite the fact that her moniker was clearly inspired by one of the best Arch Enemy songs of all time, Diva Satanica, and that most fans tried to label them as the Spanish version of Arch Enemy in the beginning, the members of Bloodhunter have many different influences in their musical careers, from Judas Priest to Behemoth and Death. When asked about her own personal favorites, Diva Satanica mentioned bands and artists the likes of Astarte, Eths, In This Moment, Skullfist, Behemoth, Axewound, Rotting Christ, Nightrage, Firewind and Lana del Rey, showing she enjoys any type of music, not only rock and metal, but also saying that it’s in Extreme Metal where she found her identity when singing. If you know Spanish and want to spend some time with Diva Satanica and her collection of metal and non-metal albums, you should definitely watch this video on YouTube, where she presents some of her favorite albums from bands and artists like Jimi Hendrix, Ramones, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row, Alice In Chains, Firewind, Rotting Chirst, The Agonist and Eths. Regarding French metalcore band Eths, she mentioned in one of her interviews that the amazing Candice Clot, former frontwoman for what’s in my opinion one of the most underrated metal bands of all time, was essential in her decision to become an extreme music vocalist. In addition, you can enjoy Diva Satanica paying her own personal tribute to some of her biggest idols on her own YouTube channel, including her vocal performances of Septicflesh’s Prototype, Holy Moses’ Triggered, Behemoth’s Ov Fire And The Void, and a very unique version for Slayer’s darkest hit Raining Blood together with Spanish rock and metal cover band Femme Fractal.
As we’re talking about women in rock and metal, Diva Satanica complemented her thoughts by saying that apart from Candice Clot (and Diva Satanica even said that when Candice left Eths she was offered to audition, but she had to refuse it as she was barely 20 years old and had no means to travel nor the equipment to record with), she also loves the music by In This Moment, Jinjer and a Spanish underground band named Bones of Minerva, which I highly recommend you go check their music on their BandCamp page. In addition, she mentioned in one of her interviews that the song The Queen Beast is dedicated to Maria “Tristessa” Kolokouri from Greek Black Metal horde Astarte, one of her main influences and a good friend that sadly passed away in 2014 due to complications from leukemia, saying she was the first woman to create the first Black Metal band formed only by women, and we can easily see that beautiful tribute Diva Satanica paid to Tristessa in the song’s amazing lyrics (“Feel her wrath / She’s watching from the stars / Abstraction of life / The air, the nature, the skies are now her reign / The shades in darkened silverlights / The black flame burns! / The highest priestess arise”).
If you think it was easy for Diva Satanica to reach her current vocal style and growth as an Extreme Metal vocalist, she said her path so far has demanded (and will always demand) from her a lot of hard work, discipline and trial and error, acknowledging that she couldn’t sing properly on the band’s first album as she didn’t know exactly what she was doing nor she could sustain her vocals for long periods of time. It was only after watching several tutorials on YouTube , after consulting with different extreme music singers and after studying in detail the performances of all vocalists of the concerts she attended that she properly began shaping her voice, spending about two years improving her technique, even taking melodic singing classes at a given point in her life, and applying necessary warmup and diaphragm strengthening exercises to improve her performance. Then she said that because she started her “Extreme Vocal Lessons” to help other growlers to improve their vocals in the early stages of their careers, she ended up discovering different vocal types and ranges that she considered great choices to incorporate to her own style. If you want to take a peak at some of her videos where she gives important tips for growlers like her, you can watch this tutorial (also in Spanish) where she teaches how to do guttural and screaming vocals, and also this short lesson where she explains the difference between growls and screams versus grunts, pig squeals, shrieks and other vocalizations. One thing that is quite annoying to Diva Satanica is when people use gender to justify why women can’t growl, with her solution to that simply being inviting those people to watch Bloodhunter live, which in my opinion is indeed an amazing experience for the non-believers who will undoubtedly be stunned by her vicious roars.
When asked about the current metal scene in Galicia, where she comes from, and if her music and Death Metal are well-received by the people from that region in Northwest Spain, she said that although they’re a small community there are different styles that people tend to listen to the most from time to time. Around a decade ago, the Gothic scene was the most prevalent, switching to Alternative Metal and Metalcore in recent years. She also mentioned the importance of their own summer festival, Resurrection Fest, which started years ago as a small act but that it’s now one of the most important festival in Europe, proving the scene in Galicia is in excellent shape. As you might have noticed already, Diva Satanica loves performing on stage, and among her favorite songs to play live she mentioned some of her band’s most violent creations such as Let the Storm Come, Possessed by Myself and of course The Queen Beast, as already mentioned, as this song has a strong meaning for her and helps her add an extra amount of emotional feeling to her singing.
Not only an accomplished vocalist, Diva Satanica has also done some modeling in the past and contributed as a writer and journalist to a couple of magazines, including La Heavy, one of the biggest rock and metal publication in Spain, managed by the website Mariskal Rock. She said she started her modeling career a few years ago, but as she discovered a lot of people are interested in many different things other than art, she gave up and decided to focus on the metal scene, starting with a Greek webzine named Subexistance Music Production and then moving on to La Heavy. Apart from that, she’s also working towards a Degree as a Doctor in Nursery, and was a participant in the Spanish TV program La Voz (the Spanish version of The Voice) in 2017, surprising the coaches by screaming and growling instead of only doing clean vocals, being the first contestant to perform this type of singing. The international artist Juanes chose her to be part of his team, where she performed songs like Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams, Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. There’s even an interview she gave to a guy named Juan Destroyer on Mariskal Rock TV where she talks about her participation on the show, and how she inspired Juanes to get back on doing a heavier kind of rock. Moreover, she always mentions that being on La Voz was one of the best experiences of her life without any doubt, saying that as she was the first even participant to do guttural, she got a lot of recognition from fans and bands from all over the world, with icons such as Michael Amott of Arch Enemy or Christos Antoniou of Septicflesh congratulating her for her amazing performance on the show.
Our dauntless diva also mentioned that there’s still a long road ahead of all musicians that dedicate their careers to more extreme styles of rock and metal, as there’s still a lot of prejudice everywhere (saying that even today in Madrid she has to cover her tattoos depending on the situation), but that it’s up to the musicians themselves to make their style more accepted by society, and that the more musicians bring their experience to light and defend their identity, the more the road will open up. As you can see, Diva Satanica is not only extremely talented and focused on her career, but she also has a strong opinion about the current state of the metal scene and about what any person needs to do to thrive in the music industry. Hence, you can check some extra interviews with this amazing Spanish she-wolf on YouTube, such as this one where she shares the latest update on both Bloodhunter and Nervosa, the current coronavirus pandemic situation and more, or this one to a show called “That Metal Interview with James”, recorded in June 2020, where she speaks of how she met Prika Amaral of Nervosa and how she was approached to join the Brazilian death metallers, about her experience being on the TV show La Voz, and about the future plans of both Bloodhunter and Nervosa regarding their musical direction for their next records. You’ll notice from all those interviews and from her music that Rocío Vázquez is more than just another vocalist; she’s a very humble and gentle human being, a hardworking musician, and a fulminating growler. Having said that, all that’s left to say is… ALL HAIL THE ONE AND ONLY DIVA SATANICA!