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Death by crossover - 87%

raspberrysoda, January 16th, 2016

According to proper logical sense and extensive scientific and psychological research, little brothers often follow their older brother's direction- either by good, bad or thrash. And poor ol' little Johnny decided to follow the direction of this older brother's path- which is the third path:: Johnny's last name is Araya. And as we all fellow metalheads know, Araya is the last name of Slayer's frontman, with Johnny happening to be his brother.

Johnny's own thrash band, Bloodcum, rarely shows any sign of influence from his older brother's band- except for the flashy solos that were featured in this release, which could fit well inside Reign in Blood or Hell Awaits. Except for that, the band didn't take any influence from Slayer, and instead, focus on a more in-your-face NYHC influenced thrash sound- think a mixture between D.R.I, S.O.D with some very Exodus and Motorhead-like riffs. Most songs go in this straightforward and easy-going manner, with a very fast crossover section, occasional solos and bass-only parts, and very fast drumming all along the way. The short duration of the album, which is just four seconds from being 21 minutes long, prevents the music from being boring and is perfect for a release of this type. A very notable thing about the album is its lyrics- they are very dark but are actually very amusing and have many moments of twisted humor:

"Keep me in a fucking room, all day long
Feed me full of pills, 'til my brain is gone
Then they watch me like a rat"


The production appeals the music and is perfectly suited for its genre- it is one of the most underground productions I've ever heard in an obscure crossover release, but it isn't thin and has a certain depth and volume to it. The instruments and the NYHC shout-like vocals were made very lo-fi, but are equalized perfectly and every instrument is heard perfectly, except for the drums which give a feeling that they were "left behind" and sound brittle compared to the rest of the instruments. Recommended to die-hard thrash fans only.

Lethal and cathartic street level thrash abortion - 70%

autothrall, July 14th, 2010

Pretty much everything about Bloodcum describes them as one of the more 'raunchy' thrash metal acts to explode in the California scene of the mid-80s. From the eyebrow raising band name, to the splattering crossover-gone-speed metal chaos that they laid down i the studio, to the album title, shitty album cover and menstrual look of the logo. But mostly these guys remind me enormously of Exodus back when they were their no-frills, evil, aggressive thrashing selves. Death by a Clothes Hanger features some of the same violent guitar tone as a Bonded by Blood, and the vocalist reminds me quite a lot of a Baloff, only far less corrosive. The band even featured Tom Araya's brother John at one point on bass and guitars, so they were pretty well jacked in to the happenings of their region.

However, they never really reached the level of an Exodus, Forbidden, Vio-Lence, or Testament, remaining far in the backdrop well behind even Defiance or Hexx. It's kind of a pity, because their extreme approach to the genre would have gone over very well with a wider range of Holy Terror or Dark Angel fans, and I think they would certainly have had an appeal to those into the extreme crossover sounds of Cryptic Slaughter or D.R.I. There's a certain street ready savvy to Bloodcum, almost as if they liked to gather around their audience and then gang bang them with baseball bats and brass knuckles. If you're looking for a fight, then you've come to the right band, and I can imagine their gigs must have had some outrageous mosh pits and broken glass and club fixtures.

What prevents Death by a Clothes Hanger from reaching a higher tier of possibility is the sheer lack of diversity present in the riffs. The band simply clobbers you with one fast paced beating after the next, and this can grow fairly exhausting in time. The entire album is only 21 minutes long, covering 10 tracks, and aside from the opener "Happily Married" and closer "Sike-O-Path!", they are all about 1-2 minutes in length, with some like the bass parody gone splatter core of "Harassment by Farm Animals" at grind/punk length. At best, the band is just attacking at an unrelenting pace, like "First to Die" which should thrill anyone who digs Darkness Descends or the more aggressive, street violent records from Canada's Razor. The guitars riffs speed by like they're passengers on a dragster bound for a brick wall, and at their slowest they lapse into crushing Exodus mosh riffs (queue the intro to "Sike-O-Path!"!).

Had the band slowed down more often, who knows what they could have been capable of. The lack of branching out in the writing process probably crippled their chance to make waves, but that doesn't stop the trio of "Happily Married", "Son of Sam" and "Live to Kill" from kicking your ass all the way down to the liquor store and back. Frenetic levels of testosterone are being bled dry into the atmosphere, slipping up prostitutes and gangbangers both. Can you imagine living in this band's neighborhood when they were jamming? I'd suspect it was Pearl Harbor II. The vocals often sink into some goofy narrative, and the lyrics are your typical street level moronic views of subjects both silly and serious that forever haunted most crossover bands, but this dude would sneer just enough that you could overcome the hesitation and just bang thy head.

Imagine a happily married union of Exodus and D.R.I. If such a prospect thrills you and has you donning your Municipal Waste tee and shit kicking boots, then go fucking track this record down, because it has your name written all over it and it's actually superior to dozens of the current crop of wanna-be bands who were not even alive when material like this was in natural abundance the first time. I don't personally love this to death, but songs like "Happily Married" and "First to Die" are certainly engaging in a head meets pavement manner, and you could do a lot worse, excepting the band's name and album title.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Here it's all about the pure impact - 87%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 9th, 2008

Bloodcum are another forgotten band back in the 80s and they played a raw form of thrash/speed metal. They are quite famous in the underground because they feature in the line up John Araya, the brother of the more famous Tom from Slayer. Despite that, the music itself is quite good and exactly what I like in this genre. It’s made of passion, speed, sweat and violence. As always in these cases, fuck technique. They don’t need it and they point to the core of the violence through up tempo and fast palm muting riffs.

“Happily Married” features mid-paced sections alternated to furious restarts where the band is truly compact and energetic. The vocals are quite common but really pissed off and somehow in a way between hardcore and thrash; anyway they don’t have that childish touch we could find in lots of bands at the time. “Son of Sam” is faster and pounding. The way they play can be consider in part brutal thrash too because the load of anger these guys have is absolutely amazing and destructive. The solos are hyper fast and full of tremolo pickings to destroy literally the chords.

The production is raw but perfect in the volumes and all sounds incredibly powerful. “Live to Kill” is another unbelievable bloodbath made of a neverending series of up tempo sections and uncountable riffs. What I really like here is right the way the play the guitars: there are no open chords parts like in hardcore and everything is more bound to thrash with lots of palm muting parts and guitars duets that soon turn into impulsive solos. The sonic violence follows that one in the lyrics and the sick, angry vocals parts.

As you noticed, the songs are quite short but they are also quite complete and amazing if you search for pure brutality. In “Treatment of Death” the Slayer influences become stronger and this is a thing I like a lot, being my favourite band. The title track, along with “Belligerent Youth”, is the most hardcore one of the entire album because it features spoken parts and more childish vocals but that is not annoying at all because the furious restarts have nothing to do with hardcore. Finally, with the last two tracks we come back to the original thrash and after the fast explosion of “First To Die” we can find the mid-paced beginning and the brutal thrash restarts of “Sick-O-Path”.

All in all, this is an album for those who want violence. Pure violence. Here everything is all about the sheer impact of the instruments but at the end we can also find a funny song like “Testing My Doorknob” that is made just by the vocals and an acoustic guitar. Recommended to the thrashers.