Bloodiest - Descent
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Record Label: Relapse Records
It's been an exciting past few years for the metal genre, with new artists and established favorites alike continue to push the creative envelope. One such newcomer of note is Bloodiest, a Chicago-based outfit that dabbles in doom, experimental, and psychedelic metal soundscapes, creating a unique listening experience. The group has a knack for penning tense, atmospheric songs that trudge by with the hypnotic pace of doom metal, fused with an ample amount of refreshing creativity. Elements of folk metal and drone are present as well, topped off with distant, resonating vocals that are reminiscent of groups such as Om or Sunn O))).
Though these familiar elements may be present, they're presented and utilized in a manner which is both fresh and exciting, an important trait to posses when your goal is to keep listeners engaged for upwards of nine minutes. Which brings me to another point - the songs here show are well-crafted, never overstaying their welcome, as many drone or doom tracks tend to do. The album is only six tracks long, but at 38 minutes it's neither underwhelming nor exhausting, showing not a moment's worth of boredom or filler. (The longest track clocks in at 11:11, the shortest at 3:08).
In these 38 minutes, listeners can expect sprawling soundscapes of thick distortion, rumbling low end, and delicately interwoven guitar fretwork accentuated by sparse bits of piano. This is all tied together by rumbling percussion and a desperate vocal delivery that is at once unnerving as well as captivating. Though the lyrics may be difficult to decipher without the aid of a lyric sheet, this shouldn't come as much of a shock to the seasoned doom fan. This is sort of a shame however, as the lyrics are notable for being a bit stronger than average; poetic in nature but never pretentious or hackneyed. All of this makes for an impressive debut album, that sees a young band showing great promise and potential, something they're sure to develop upon future releases.