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Bloodbound has gone through a dozen stylistic changes from the early days, starting off as a Maiden and Helloween mix with some diabolically hooky melodies and Satanic themes and transitioning through phases as an AOR-flavored band, a prog metal band on Tabula Rasa and now a Nocturnal Rites-esque Swedish sound with big anthemic choruses and stomping, pop-sensible rhythms. Their last album Unholy Cross was a big, epic and fun trip with a ton of class and pomp, but this new one, In the Name of Metal, seems to have been rushed out in a few weeks, as this is easily the worst album of their career.
In the Name of Metal is obviously a “fun” sort of album from the guys, but fun doesn’t excuse everything, and although there are some hooky songs, most of the album is largely disposable. This literally doesn’t even feel like a finished album, as the songs are rough and unpolished sounding with a rawer-sounding production than last time out, and the songwriting is largely one dimensional and faceless. Only the vocals of Patrik Johansson carries these songs above completely menial levels – Patrik is clearly the star of the album with his distinct, gritty tone and spot-on metal wailing. He’s not Urban Breed, but he’s within an inch of being as good, and on songs like the title track and “Son of Babylon” he shows off some serious chops. He even makes the re-recording of “Book of the Dead” his own, and will have those fans who remember the original going ‘Michael Bormann who?’ upon hearing it.
But a lot of the album is just bland. Go back and listen to killers off the last album like “Message From Hell” or “Moria” and then come back to this one and you will see the difference. There’s just not a lot of power or flow to these songs. Most of them just sort of groove along into nowhere, sounding like a bunch of Dream Evil fillers from 2005 or something. Particular lowlights include the plodding “Mr. Darkness” and the awful “Monstermind.” The lyrics are all terrible, too, and when you hear the title track you’ll just be embarrassed.
You say I’m evil you say I suck
My hair’s too long I don’t give a fuck
I’m doing nothing out of control
My music’s wrong I don’t care at all
You say I’m ditry I smell like shit
All dressed in black and my clothes don’t fit
I’m a sinner excuse me m’am
You take your moral I don’t give a damn
So yeah, In the Name of Metal just isn’t that good, with maybe a few tracks that show off the old Bloodbound charm, but most of the songs don’t feel like completed tracks and the album as a whole is largely rushed and uninspired. From the band that gave us classics like “Behind the Moon” or “Nosferatu,” these kinds of lazy hard rock anthems just won’t cut it. Try spending more than a few months on your new album next time, guys.