Bloodlet seem to be a sadly forgotten band. Even in their time they were overshadowed by the other bands Victory Records released. Sadly a band ahead of their time in a sense and far beyond typical hardcore constraints. What does this have to do with Junior Bruce? Well the booming voice of Bloodlet has returned as Scott Angelacos once again takes the lead. While Bloodlet always had a pinch of sludge and southern metal style in their hardcore foundation Junior Bruce does much to avoid any sense of hardcore really.
The band loses every bit of their relationship to hardcore firmly in the past. The only hold over may by the tempos at certain points. So what the listener is left with is a tough and rumble sludge metal record. The band carry a fierce rock and roll heart along with their metallic leaning so as to keep a certain swagger to the beat. This is best shown in the opening of "Lt. Fury" the song starts strong with a very rocking beat letting things move fast but not too fast allowing the riffs and vocals take the lead.
The band generally avoid the syrupy sludge parts of their contemporaries allowing for the slower parts to become that much more crushing throughout. While each song has a definite groove and balance the speed of the songs would tend to surprise in the basic genre. This is very welcome as none of the songs linger too long everything moves quickly and with great force.
The production does a good job of making things sound just dirty enough. This helps to highlight the sludge without detracting from anything else within the mix. The biggest note to make are the absolute strength of the vocals. Teeming with a ferocity that tends to get lost the somewhat melodic growl of Angelacos puts most singers in the style to shame.
Where does this land in general you ask? Well Angelacos and his friends have made a strong case for how to make a fast sludge record. While that description seems like an oxymoron in general I would be hard pressed to find a more apt way to explain what they do. The songs move faster than most sludge bands while taking a strong cue from the stoner and sludge genres. So if you can imagine Angelacos Fronting Electric Wizard playing hardcore then you may have an idea of what you're in for but, even then you may not be doing "The Headless King" it's proper justice.
7.9 / 10
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