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World is black & white... Wait! It is blood red! - 72%

Lane, May 23rd, 2020

Dubbed as a groovy death metal band by promotion agent, I can assure you that this sounds nothing like Six Feet Under, so please read on. Bloodyard are a quintet from Lancaster, England. Been operating for about a decade now, their debut full-length album 'Orchard of Corpses' was released at the beginning of May.

Death metal and England... It's known to be heavy and dirty for a big part, and Bloodyard aren't a deviant into that rule. Their game is hacking and pounding kind of death metal, operating between mid and faster tempos. The drum patterns are mostly driving double kick drumming and groovy beats. At times there's some unsteady beats, though, that are easily spotted. The guitar tone is thick and rusty, and commanding due to it's mixed upfront, maybe something like a mixture of Allen West (known for his works with Obituary and Six Feet Under etc.) and Desecration's older albums, and there's infectious palm-muted rhythmics, intense fast picking, and catchy chord progressions. The bass guitar is bulky, ramming its way down there. The vocals, sung by a lady, are simply bruising. Deep guttural growls with throat-butchering tones are beastly, as well as are more high-pitched shrieky snarling, and with echoing, they sound like they are coming from a grave, beyond death. They are in more or less, varying, rhythmic patterns. The sound is organic and filthy; no modern traits noticed.

Due to bouncy nature of the playing, this also of Danish band Konkhra, but the British legacy runs deep in it. However, Bloodyard aren't similar to, say, Cancer, Desecration, Benediction, Carcass or Gorerotted. Bloodyard are rather primal, driving death metal. Mostly. 'Rupture of Mask' begins like an old Bolt Thrower song, steamrolling the listener without any hardship. There are evil chord progressions happening, like on ominous 'Mortem'. Often it is like 2000s never happened. 'Choke' contains some hardcore punk traits, and the long closer is a bow towards doom lords Crowbar; slow pace and lead-heavy performances create that New Orleans vibe. While not reinventing the wheel, Bloodyard manage to sound pretty damn characteristic. Then again, there are some deep bows toward old death metal bands, e.g. lacerating melodic work on 'Stack the Pyre...' and aforementioned Bolt Thrower vibe. Since the songwriting is above average, sometimes well above, this band could be on its way to big things. However, I do not understand the 1-minute silence at the end of 'Purge the Rot'... Maybe the final song is such a different beast, that the band wanted to segregate it.

Bloodyard are rather characteristic up-and-coming English death metal entity I must say. One should not fear the "groove" tag bcause this is no "jump-da-fuk-up" music, but a slab of brutal and ugly music, and catchy at that, and it drives a spade into your throat and takes your head as a trophy. Nasty as heck!!!

(Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com)