Review: Bloodshot Dawn – Demons

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Get in here and learn about the album that usurped Archspire‘s throne on Jack Bauer’s album of the year list!

Imagine, you’re driving down the road in your reliable old car, just enjoying the weather. You have your windows down and your music blasting, scaring away countless old ladies and alienating closed-minded lifelovers all over the road. I’m gonna use a Mustang for my example here. Anyway, you’re driving over the speed limit, because you just heard one of your favorite riffs and you can’t help yourself, when all of sudden you hear a low, guttural rumble. “What? I don’t remember this song having guttural vocals at this point,” you think to yourself. That’s when you realize where the sound came from. As you look to your left, you see a brand new Mustang, newest model and everything, its engines making your eardrums throb in aural ecstasy as it passes you by with ease. For a fleeting moment you consider turning around and going to get one for yourself. However, you decide against it, because you aren’t an impulse buyer like Jack Bauer.

As the week goes on you can feel an urge, scratching at the back of your consciousness, nudging you ever so slowly toward making the decision that you avoided the other day. By Thursday even Jack Bauer’s amazing TDT posts (heh, shameleses self-promotion) can’t keep you from focusing on the doubt that is festering inside you. The angel on your shoulder is telling you not to, because your current ride has been so good to you and has never given you any issues. How could you betray that relationship? Then Satan pops up on the other shoulder. “What up man?” he says. “We both know you want it, so why don’t you treat yourself to that sexy piece of machinery?” You start to protest, but he continues, “Think of the horsepower at your fingertips, the torque you could unleash!” By the end of the week you have chosen to do what any good metalhead would do: listen to Satan. Saturday comes around and you pull up to the dealership. Somehow, as if he already knew, a salesman is in your face before you can say “lolbuttz.” “Here for the new Mustang?” he asks rhetorically. There is no point protesting, it’s destiny. A few hours later, you’re cruising down the street in your brand new ride and it feels oh so good. Everything about your previous model has been upgraded to perfection. That speaker that wigged out when a bass drop came? Gone. That damn window that never wanted to roll down on time? Finished. That stank from when that stupid jerk spilled a milkshake? Missing, replaced by that new car smell. You realize how satisfied you are with this purchase, it’s everything you’d hoped for and more.

This is how I feel about the new Bloodshot Dawn album, Demons. I loved their previous self-titled album to death. The whole time leading up to the release of Demons I kept thinking that it would be impossible for me to like it better. I had heard the new single they released and all the fancy new stuff that came with it. Still, I wasn’t sure the album itself would top their self-titled. As the release date drew closer and they released yet another single, I got even more excited. Maybe the hype was real? Eventually, I always ended up thinking, “Nah, no way, it’s just two songs.” I was wrong. Oh man was I wrong. Did I mention I was wrong? Their new album takes everything that was good about their previous effort and amps it up to perfection. Every blast beat amazing, every solo strangely arousing, production that is a thousand times better than before. Demons is the shiny new Mustang that 1ups the previous model in every way and then some.

The riffs that permeate Demons are phenomenal; executed to perfection and catchy as hell. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had one stuck in my head the past few days. Every single time that has happened, I have gone and listened to the album again. That’s right. The ENTIRE album. Not just the song that was stuck in my head. Demons is just that good. It hooks you with the riffs, draws you a bit closer with the drumming and then hits you with a knockout punch when the solos come.

One of my issues with their self-titled debut was that it was really hard to hear the vocals over the rest of the instruments at times. Those production woes are non-existent in Demons. Every single solitary note can be heard perfectly, and the same goes for all the vocals. The production quality is super clear without sounding eerily clean and artificial like a lot of bands these days.

This band has always had amazing solos, and that hasn’t changed. The solos on this album are to die for. As an example, the solo in “The Image Faded” is easily my favorite solo of the year. It just keeps going, even when you think it’s about to stop, widdling in and out of your eardrums, bringing you ever so closer to eargasm. Oh by the way, this solo contains guest appearances from Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun), Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry), Chris Amott (Armgeddon, Ex-Arch Enemy), and Andy James. Quite a fuckin’ combo! I think the craziest part about it is that, despite its unusual length, it never feels too long.

There is so much more going on in these songs than most others in the same genre, and yet it all feels at home. That riff you didn’t expect? Totally belongs there. That ridiculous drumming behind the riff? Right at home. I know I’m making this sound like tech-death, but trust me, it is so much more than that. This is genre-defining stuff here. This is Bloodshot Dawn setting the bar sky high. This is Bloodshot Dawn taking their melodeath crown. Take note At the Gates, this is why your new album bores the ever loving crap out of me.

There’s a great amount of variety in this album as well, and every song sounds like its own beast. Yes, every song is a beast, deal with it. This brings me back to the whole not-sure-if-melodeath thing, because honestly, these guys throw so many genres into one song that it feels unfair to lop them in to just one. It’s like they took the technicality of tech-death, the soaring melodies of melodeath, the unbelievably impeccable guitar playing of shred, the riffs of death metal, and the frantic pace of thrash and mashed it all together like some sort of genius musical alchemists. I even heard a bit of deathgrind in the song “Human Void,” which also happens to feature guest vocals from  Sven De Caluwé (Aborted).

Lastly, I just want to point out that the album art is awesome. Every time I see it pop up on my screen I smile. I love it. Par Olofsson, you rock.

From the opening riff in “Smoke and Mirrors” to the epic outro of album closer “Demons,” this album will have you headbanging nonstop. This is easily the beast melodeath record I’ve ever heard. Quite frankly, this album takes my breath away. Demons is the shiny new model that everyone needs to pay attention to, by the band that was destined to breathe new life into this stale genre. If I had to pick something to complain about… I’d be a damned liar.

NO FLUSH

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  • Dental_Damnation

    Song writing skills, flow, and technicality? I can see why it has usurped your beloved Archspire Mr. Bojang….er, I mean Bauer.

    • Wait, I just..you don’t think I’m Bojangles do you?

      • Death

        Are you Bojangles?

        • Are you kidding? Of course not.

          • Death

            Good.

          • Bunk Moreland

            Hai!

          • lol uh oh.

          • Death

            Not you too, Jimmy’s different account!

          • That cat has left us for the Site That Must Not Be Named.

            Flush that fur ball

            GL

          • yeah… YEAH… what’s up with that? oh yeah, he likes pissing people off, all we did was pet him.

          • Oh yeah. I guess it would make sense to change your author profile.

          • I may or may not have failed to figure out how to do that like 10 times this month………

          • Edward

            If you’d like help I can walk you through it when I am home from work later.

          • I would appreciate that, thanks.

    • LOL!

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      It all makes sense now.

  • Death

    I stopped PiL for this? I is sad.

  • Cock ov Steele

    That’s quite a groove they’ve got join on there.

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    It’s not ungood. That there solo in that there linked song was that there amazeballs.
    On yet another note, it came to me like lightning (must’ve been that Archspire thing on the top) that almost none of my years end list albums have been featured in the toilet. I has a sad now.

    • W.

      BAN has been featured 😉

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        One of the few, making it almost.

      • Too bad Death hates blunt ass nord.

        • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

          … A bad joke is a bad joke.

          • Not really a joke, just antagonizing him.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            Oh, well, carry on.

          • Death

            You accept this?

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I condone this in secrecy

          • Death

            ….

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I is waiting, bring wine, I’ve got some bread. If you’d like something else you’ll have to bring it yourself.

          • Death

            Why would I bring wine? I’m not going near an Alko.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            Well bring beer then, S-mart has that (shop smart, shop s-mart) I can throw you the feast you deserve without something to quench the thirst.

          • Death

            I’ll bring Jaffa.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I guess that’ll have to do then. See you soon sugar
            SY

          • CyberneticOrganism
        • Death

          Hardy har har, Jack!

        • Death likes less bands than KSoFM
          ~DeathFacts~

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            …Death likes bands?

          • Death

            That’s not a fact, that’s an assumption!

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Actually I’m not sure if it has room. Even if I’d only include metal-releases. Too much good music.

    • Aversions Crown has been featured 😉

      • Fuck everyone else I’m excited for that one.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        A bad joke is still a bad joke.

    • Edward

      I’m hoping my year end list causes a few hurt butts, which is weird cause I’m normally so laid back lol

      • The Pinkprint might be on mine, i expect a lot of you to die.

        • Edward

          Man, I dunno even what that is. I’m a little terrified of the name. Lol.

          • Death

            It apparently is an album by the giant ass, Nicki Minaj.

          • nicki minaj

          • Death

            I’m not even surprised if it gets on your list.

          • Nikki Minaj in the top ten? really? Oh man pretty reckless better be higher than her…

          • Death

            Ewwwwwwwww! That thing is bad!

          • Quiet you,this is a law enforcement matter.

          • Death

            You can try, but the truth can’t be silenced!

          • you better watch your attitude, I gave you a ticking time bomb after all. She even has remote detonate.

          • Death

            I can’t die dude.

          • Sure you can.

          • Death

            No, you are wrong. Plz shut the hell up!

          • Since you said please.

        • Consider my butt pre-preemptively hurt.

      • Death

        Don’t worry, I’ll surely be mad at it.

        • Edward

          Death you never let us down!

  • I dunno, the production sounds pretty damned sterile to these ears…

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6ad4mtVeK1rzgx8po1_400.gif

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    The album cover reminds me of This is the End, except it is missing one important detail…

  • CyberneticOrganism
    • Thank you T1000

      • CyberneticOrganism

        I’m a T-800 Model 101, but thank you for the compliment in thinking I’m that SLUTTY SKINNY POLYALLOY SHAPESHIFTING BITCH

        • Lol my bad, gotta watch T2 again now I guess.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            No problemo

          • Chill out, dickwad Edit: did he ever actually say that one?

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Uncle Bob?

          • Well yea, but I mean did he ever actually say it aside from repeating connor?

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Nah just in the car. It would have been so much better if I had said it after the T-1000 was hit with liquid nitrogen. I’m a little slow sometimes on wit, not much programming there.

          • Your levity is good, it relieves tension and the fear of death.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            I did, yes.

  • Guacamole Jim

    So, did you like the album, or what..?

  • God

    Bloodshot Dawn is the exact kind of Tech Death I love. It takes the Technical wankary down a few notches and is more or less focused on Death Metal with a sprinkle of tech on top.

    • Zapp Brannigan

      It warms the crotches of my heart that bands out their these days still recognize the power of the almighty DM riff.

      • I will upvote anything you say because you’re Zapp Brannigan.

        • God

          He’s the man with no name….Zapp Brannigan

        • That is Brannigan’s Law

          • Leif Bearikson

            Brannigan’s Law is like Brannigan’s love…hard and fast!

          • Zapp Brannigan

            How would you like to be promoted a few ranks below me?

      • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

        The Man with No Name!

        • God

          Ass! you beat me to it!

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            Does this mean I created him?

          • God

            all I know is my gut says maybe

          • Zapp Brannigan

            My God, all these years We’ve been praying to you for peace and wisdom, but it just so happens to turn out you have a heart full of neutrality. Just what makes a man/and or almighty creator go neutral?

          • Seeing his creations murder and assault each other maybe? Or maybe just Lindsay Lohan.

          • y u do dis

          • God

            I would disappoint her so hard.

          • Guacamole Jim

            God’s just like me!!

          • Tyree

            That’s an attractive foot in the background there.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Got damn fire crotch. Man was she cute.

  • NefariousDude

    Listening to the image faded right now and I’m digging the groove and that guitar hook. Definitely will check it out once I have my computer

    Ps. I would like some banshee shrieks here and there

    • get that computer baaaaaaaaaaaack!

    • Or you can use the bandcamp app if you can use your phone.

      • NefariousDude

        That’s what I was using. I was at a wifi hotspot but now I’m not and my cellular connection suxxx

  • Been jamming this album all ferkin day. SO GEWD OH MY GAWD.
    Great review, JB.

  • better roll up your windows there Mustang Sally….

  • Planning on giving this a spin later, great review Jack!

    • Danka

      • W.

        *Danke

        • You know what!, fine.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Takk

          • Death

            Oh, we’re doing a language thing?
            Kiitos

          • M Shadows!

            Hai!

      • Edward

        I agree, great review.

        It happens so often that I think at some point I can / will / should stop going

        “wow, you guys are so great”.

  • W.

    Ah, Mustangs, the preferred car choice of sorority girls with lots of daddy’s money.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    That sure is one bodacious solo!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Holy fuck no kidding, I was enjoying the song in the background and that solo comes in like a glorious ray of void.

      • It just never stopped. Wow. Tasty and well done!

        GL

  • TrickleDownTacoRiff

    I love this sooo much: “alienating closed-minded lifelovers all over the road.” (and in general)

    • close-minded lifelovers are quite the conundrum eh?

  • Beunhaas

    I often get frustrated for no reason when I read a review of an album that’s really positive and after that read a review of the same album that’s really negative. For example, this review, and the one by Kronos at AMG http://www.angrymetalguy.com/bloodshot-dawn-demons-review-1026/ I haven’t listened to the album, but I tend to copy the opinions of others.

  • Gurp

    Wait. You’re telling me this topped Archspire off your #1?

    • Correct.

      • Scrimm

        I coulda swore you said the new Beyond Creation did that.

        • It did at first, but then I listened to lucid collective again and beyond creation stayed a spot below.

          • Scrimm

            Ahhh makes sense.

          • JWG

            That’s pretty much how I responded to AMG (actually Kronos)’s review. I’ll certainly listen to BC lots over the next year or so. But it won’t top Archspire.

            I was initially thinking neither would this one, but your review made me think I should give it more time then reevaluate…

          • I listened to the lucid collective again after hearing demons, demons still wins by a narrow margin.

      • Gurp

        That seems like an anomaly in itself. Gonna hafta give this a listen.
        *to the Russian blogosphere!*

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    Bloodshot Dawn’s drummer has Finnish blood. Take that Obama!

    • so they use a drum machien??

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Haahaa. Janne Jaloma

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Anybody else notice that the artwork (which is awesome) is very similar to Abysmal Dawn’s newest, not to mention the fact that the bands’ names are also very similar. Seems weird, idk. Whatevs, the music is fvkking sick on both albums!

    • W.

      Same artist. Par Oloffson.

      • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

        I figured as much, just too lazy to google. But seriously, aren’t they like, almost too similar? Was it on purpose? Is BD trolling AD? Is Par Oloffson trolling them both? Am I thinking too hard over nothing?
        …Yea, I’m thinking too hard over nothing.

        • Dental_Damnation

          Im thinking he had them both cued up on the project table and was too lazy to dig up a whole new color pallet form each. That being said, I think they’re both sick

          • Lacertilian

            If it was me, I would have said yes to both bands and got to work on a cover, gotten drunk/baked and thus confused by the similar band names and showed both bands the same draft-artwork.
            Then realised my mistake and had to create a similar cover to the original to disguise my blatant incompetence.
            I’m sure Par is a professional and wouldn’t be as useless as me.

    • both albums have scrumtulescent solos out the wazoo!

  • Sponge Of Mystery

    ……shit….i need money

  • Max

    It’s a great song, and the solo section is epic. I do wish there were just a pinch more bass in the mix to really fill it out.

    Curiously, it reminds me of Predator’s Portrait-era Soilwork.

  • Lacertilian

    I’m half way through the album and it definitely rips.
    Cheers Jack.
    I agree with all the bands you compared them to and would throw in a sprinkle of Himsa (unexpectedly). Maybe it’s a combo of the melodic sections and his vocals?
    Either way, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I owned a couple of Himsa cds back in high-school.
    Worthy of the no flush review for sure.

  • crazytaco_12

    Wow, this is great Jack, thanks for the recommendation.