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After two demos, Jyväskylä-based extreme metal band Blood-Stained release their debut full length album. The album showcases ten new songs with some variety with styles. Presenting new material is a wise decision, because on the other hand this still is a demo, as this five-piece band are hunting for a record deal. But how does the end product sound like?
Mainly 'Infected' is about groovy death/thrash metal, in modern way. And the adjective "extreme" does not really mean extreme, as you've probably guessed, even though at heaviest it still packs a lot of punch. Generally this sounds like a clash between Finnish and Swedish (more or less Gotherburg-ish) styles. It can be severe and fast, but also melodic and groovy. The album begins well enough, but soon it is clear, that Blood-Stained cannot present anything characteristic. This kind of stuff has been made for years already, so it is nigh on impossible to come up with something special anymore.
Anyways, this doesn't mean 'Infected' is totally residual deposit. The opening trio reach its climax with very infectious 'MediSin'. With 'Scars of Loss', lame clean vocals gain bigger foothold, as they alternate with unvarying high-pitched growl on this otherwise good song. This makes it clear, that sometimes the band fondle with metalcore elements. The latter half of the album is almost devoid of anything but clichéd stuff. 'Predator Within' melds heavy Opeth influence, in vein of dark melodiousness in guitars and vocals, with The Haunted style mordnism and 'When the Masochist Smiles' stinks of that certain At The Gates album. The horrible piano/moaning song 'Open for Wounds' ends up the album in a bad, divergent way. But if the closer is neglected, 'Infected' is an energetic and pretty well written piece of modernized metal, which has one major flaw: It is so very common.
Soundwise this is definitely good, when considering that this was self-financed. The sound is heavy and clean. The bass drums are too clicky, the snare too compressed and the guitar's tones are too metalcorey for my liking, but without a doubt there is power in the sound. Playing is good all around, especially the guitars are pretty technical and the drummer does not give mercy to his set. And while the quality of vocals vary, at least there are some good ones too.
It is no surprise, that 'Infected' is a self-release. The familiarity of the music and the faceless performances defect this young band. They sound very enthusiastic, which should pay off eventually, maybe even with 'Infected'. The future will show if Blood-Stained have that "certain something". Now it is above average, but sometimes that's not enough.