Blood Has Been Shed - Spirals (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Blood Has Been Shed

Spirals (2003)


What exactly is heavy these days? Seems like every band is being called "brutal" and every kid and his dog are playing in some metal knock off band. But rest assured, Blood Has Been Shed play some brutal, heavy music. On top of that, you get vocalist extraordinaire, Howard Jones who also handles vocal duties for Killswitch Engage. Jones has amazing range, from low growls to high pitch shrieks to melodic singing; he can do it all very well.

Blood Has Been Shed isn't the type of band that is easy to get, it takes some time to really appreciate this stuff. Like Meshuggah, BHBS uses odd time structures and crushing riffs to define their songs. However, BHBS also injects a bit of melody when they need to. Jones has a uniquely deep singing voice, and I don't need to tell you how refreshing that is amongst a bunch of vocalists who sing like they're auditioning for "Muppet Treasure Island." On the song "Uatu", the most melodic track on this album, Jones' vocals take center stage instead of the crushing riffs, and he has no problem carrying the song.

While the melody isn't all that prevalent here, it doesn't really need to be. Tracks like "Call Waiting (John Doe Has The Upper Hand)" will have you bobbing your head even though they aren't pretty. The drumming is also unbelievable, as it somehow manages to keep up with the off-timed riffs.

It would almost be an oversimplification to refer to this band as metalcore, but if you would indeed put them into that genre it would be safe to say that there is hope for metalcore. I'm not sure how an album that is so undeniably heavy could at the same time be so intriguing, I believe it's most likely the result of Blood Has Been Shed not becoming complacent in their song writing. While most of the songs on here are completely unrelenting, no two sound the same.

If Meshuggah's brand of technical/math fused/metal/whatever is your thing or you just want to here something a little challenging or you just want to hear something that's a bit different from most of the bands currently flooding the metal/hardcore scene then this one should be on your list. Hopefully this album will get Blood Has Been Shed some much deserved attention and praise, more people should know about this band.