Bloodiest - _Descent_
(Relapse Records, 2011)
by: Aaron McKay (6 out of 10)
This Chicago seven piece outfit's stylistic approach has been referred to as "vast" and "expansive". While both terms may be accurate, also consider the possibility they might be somewhat wanting in the "musically engaging" department as well. Ambient and moody, Bloodiest stakes an all-out claim solidly within the camp of experiential composition to their technique throughout _Descent_. Call it an artist statement of musical style rather devoid of classification.

_Descent_ is the introductory offering from Bloodiest. As the album pushes through its nearly thirty-nine minutes of marshland slog, the effort takes a constructive turn for a more alluring path toward _Descent_'s conclusion. Beginning at the epically long track four, clocking in at over eleven minutes, "Dead Inside" slugs through right on to the next cut, "Slave Rule". At this point, Bloodiest tweaks the tonality of the material into a more sparse, minimalist affair with passively weighty guitar and bass passages and clock-like drum beats. The up-tempo changes used ever-so-sparingly on _Descent_ come into play in full effect on the last song, entitled "Obituary". This song conveys an atmospherically black metal guitar approach with, this time, a more strained vocal delivery, as opposed to the muffled Volbeat mantra found on the rest of the release.

As an initial effort, Bloodiest has displayed a certain identifiable ability and a unique technique represented on _Descent_. That approach and its appeal are, at times, overshadowed in stylistic ambiguity. Conversely, where this analysis holds no sway is where Bloodiest shines the brightest on the last track of album, "Obituary", hence demonstrating the band's finest potential to go supernova. Who couldn't use another Sculptured, Killing Joke or Agalloch illuminating metal's assorted universe?


(article published 6/3/2011)

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