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Code666 is known for the large numbers of weird and unique bands that are signed under them, though the majority of these bands are admittedly fundamentally play black metal. Switzerland’s Blutmond this year releases their third full length album, entitled The Revolution is Dead! under the label, and it is indeed rather hard to guess what style of music the band plays for those who are encountering this Swiss outfit for the first time.
The first time listening to The Revolution is Dead! was quite weird though, as the band fuses as wide variety of genres together into what they call avant-garde black metal, with influences ranging from melodic death metal to jazz and even some slight electronic/industrial influences. For instance, opening track Putting Hearts Together starts off with a heavy melodic death metal sound, first with the shouting style of the vocals then with the heavy metal galloping style riffing. But as quickly as the band introduced themselves as a melodic death metal band, they go into another style, with saxophones, sounding like a melodic death metal version of bands like Sigh and Ihsahn‘s latest works, complete with that avant-garde feel in the music. As the album progresses, such sudden and seemingly random transitions are commonplace, though Blutmond displays their flair in this form of music with each of the different styles fusing together into a coherent whole, flowing smoothly from one style to another. It is also this fusion of heavy, crushing riffs and a calming atmosphere that makes Blutmond‘s music so captivating, like on Regret where the heaviness gives way to an almost melancholic outro.
The black metal elements, though present, can be pretty subtle most of the time and instead of the usual Scandinavian form that the band has taken influence from, these more black metal moments can take a pretty French sound, with songs like Stop the Rain, Neuzeit Jesus bearing some slight similarities to bands such as Alcest and the likes. Drummer Dave’s works on the album also help to up the intensity and extremity in the music, giving the songs much of the energy.
The album also features a couple of guest musicians, and one of the most impressive are the vocals of Anna Murphy (of Eluveitie fame), whose high pitched, powerful clean vocals provide most of the emotions in the music. The high presence of her vocals throughout the entire album is also something that is personally welcome, displaying her real vocal abilities that are often not really fully utilised on her works with Eluveitie. Unfortunately, with the large variety of influences on the album there are bound to be moments where elements of genres that I really don’t fancy make appearances, and one of them are the shouting on songs like Pas De Deux, almost sounding like a post-hardcore band.
Seriously, with the whole lot of things going around on The Revolution is Dead!, there is no way to really classify Blutmond‘s style of music. At times, too many things happen way too quickly, but the ability of the band to ensure that their music remains catchy as hell makes the album one hell of an enjoyable ride, one that would capture fans of melodic extreme metal, with a unique touch.