Bonded by Blood
Feed the Beast
One of the best of the new breed
Is it that hard to be original these days in music? The “glass half full” part of me says, ‘No, no at all’ whilst the opposite suggests that ‘Ugh, another rip off’. Well, Los Angeles (California, U.S.A.) modern thrash act Bonded by Blood (who are vocalist Jose "Aladdin" Barrales, guitarist/vocalists Alex Lee and Juan Juarez, bassist/vocalist Ruben Dominguez and drummer Carlos Regalado) definitely aren’t a part of that last statement entirely. Sure, thrash isn’t new, but the resurgence of modern day thrashers would suggest otherwise. But consider this – their name is that of the legendary Exodus debut album, Self Immolation is a title track used many a time before – most notably by cyber metallers Fear Factory on their 1992 debut Soul of a New Machine, and Necropsy is a word I haven’t seen in a song title since the Carcass classic Embryonic Necropsy And Devourment (from their 1989 gore grind classic Symphonies Of Sickness). Nitpicking perhaps, yes, but still, interesting don’t you think?
Anyways onto the business at hand that counts – the shiny disc in front of me. Right from the ripping opening riff to Immortal Life you know these guys mean business. There’s been a lot of new thrash acts appear in recent times and a lot of label propaganda on their respective bio’s about how “insert wannabe thrash act name here” is the be all and end all for thrash fans. With the exception of one other in recent times, Bonded by Blood live up to the hype in every way. Barrales’ vocals are a blend of Steve “Zetro” Sousa (ex-Exodus), Bobby “Blitz” Elsworth (Overkill), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) and a hint of Sean Killian (Vio-Lence) and they shift around predominantly within those four names across the album and not only the vocals but the music as well behind Feed the Beast has a strong Death Angel vibe to it.
In years to come, the likes of Psychotic Pulse could become a new thrash classic – maybe not to rival the likes of the old school classics, but as far as the new school goes, it’s very possible. Check out the Killian influenced vocals on the sinister Necropsy, and the Elsworth factor on Mind Pollution whilst the jarring Another Disease swaps up tempos left, right and centre with ease. There’s no shortage of furiously picked riffs, blinding leads, tempo changes and gang vocals across The Evil Within, the mosh-tastic Tormenting Voices, the stomping Civil Servant, the juggernaut that is Self Immolation and the album’s final original track, the furious Vengeance. In true fun thrash fashion, the group rip out a blistering cover of the Theme From The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to round it all out.
By this point, my earlier comments about originality are pretty much null and void. Bonded by Blood’s Feed the Beast is one of the best new thrash album’s I’ve heard to date. All the staples of thrash are there on what is a fun listen from start to finish. Thrashers, heads up and check these guys out.
(Earache Records/Riot! Entertainment)
More from Bonded by Blood
- Exiled to Earth [review]