Bloodstock house band Bloodshot Dawn have been some of the latest folks to heavily reap the benefits of the Kickstarter phenomenon with new album “Demons”. The Portsmouth quartet have been thundering away for over a decade now and boast some pretty impressive tours with the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse and Scar Symmetry and they tick pretty much all of the standard metal band boxes:
- Epic artwork of enormous monstrous being? Check.
- Chest beating song titles that verge on cliche? Check.
- Promo photo in which the front-man clasps invisible gorilla testicles? Check.
It’s not difficult to see why Bloodshot Dawn are so popular, because on the surface they do absolutely everything right. Every member of the band is clearly a very accomplished musician and they work exceptionally well together as a close knit unit. The sound hits somewhere between early In Flames and Arch Enemy making the potential audience immense and the production on this album couldn’t be more squeaky clean if it had been handled by an obsessive compulsive mouse. Therein lies the problem though…
This is a case of seen it and heard it before and despite the obvious ability of the band, “Demons” is an album that is severely lacking a soul (no pun intended). At the best of times it can feel generic and at the worst downright annoying. The widdling lead guitar can occasionally feel like it’s just masking a fairly uninteresting core riff and can often go on so long I found myself just rolling my eyes at the vanity. The monotone growls make vocals seem like an after thought. There are also areas where the band all too clearly demonstrate their influences, in particular a section in “Unified” that might have Joe Duplantier from Gojira reaching for the phone to his lawyer.
“Demons” is a sturdy but totally forgettable album. As fans, I can’t help but feel we should be demanding more in the way of innovation from our bands in a scene that’s so overcrowded. It shouldn’t be enough to simply be competent.