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Bloody righteous - 92%

Liquid_Braino, December 18th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Victor

Proficient label-hoppers Mary's Blood signed with Victor Entertainment for this release, and given the nature of the music and the history of the band, it seems the company let the girls do their thing with minimal interference. The production is solid with no shortage of fuzzy rage to the guitar tone, loud as hell but suitable for the music. There's also a good bass presence adding depth and gravity to these songs, sometimes affecting clarity during drum fills, but a minor sacrifice for a healthy extra level of power.

The production is just a bit rough around the edges, which helps bring out a rebellious charm these women aim for in their sound. There's plenty of diversity, ranging from break-neck power-thrash anthems to power ballads and party metal, and the group is generally more than up to the task of putting on a quality display for whatever stylistic choice they're tackling at the moment. What I don't hear much of is the hyper J-rock stuff the band presented during their early days, which is a good thing, particularly since Eye's mature vocals possess a strong "don't fuck with me" undercurrent that works better over aggressive riffing than overtly melodic sing-song consonance.

While Eye's tough yet talented singing skills are certainly a drawing point, guitarist Saki is arguably the bigger lure as this girl possesses some major chops and loves to shred the hell out of her fret on stage. Wielding an angry sharp tone, Saki stays pretty busy throughout, treating us to some good solos when needed and adding flair via little licks to the riffage. To be fair though, the whole band is tight as fuck, anchored by a stellar rhythm section that allows Saki to strut her assets when the mood arises.

Following a pointless intro that had me thinking that the band had morphed into Pythia, Bloody Palace hits hard with a one-two thrashy power-punch that gets the blood flowing. "Bite the Bullet" is particularly fun, showing off the band's skills while keeping the attitude gritty. Other speedsters include the thrashing "I'm Dead" and "Moebius Loop", which actually veers away a bit from their safety zone into borderline symphonic power metal glory complete with anthemic passages as if the girls were ready to shed their leather garb for brass bras and broadswords. Great stuff, but my favorite off the album is actually "Bloody Birth Day", a song that cuts loose with a mammoth vintage 80's thrash riff that offers an estimation as to what the song "Master of Puppets" would've sounded like if Dave Mustaine desired to hit that next level of asshole-ness by pulling a "Mechanix" on that titular tune even if he had nothing to do with creating it.

Speaking of the 80's, there's also a strong degree of heavy metal influences as well as hard rock from that era steeped into quite a few numbers, with the rollicking party metal of "Ready to Go" being an obvious flag bearer of all things Aqua Net. Adding to the variety is the stomping "Sweet Trap" that flirts with stoner metal and the power ballad "Infinite Love" which, despite the facepalm inducing title, doesn't actually suck.

With fellow all-girl act Cyntia sadly squandering their entire metallic appeal for the sake of cookie-cutter Jpop and veteran act Destrose crumbling into temporary rubble, I was pretty apprehensive in checking out Bloody Palace, especially since Mary's Blood didn't exactly rock my pants off with their early shit and the scene's current climate had me wondering if they were ready to follow suit and regress into more commercial oriented J-rock. That didn't happen in this case. In fact, this album escalates them to the upper-tier level of women who can crank out some quality metal, being one of this year's best releases for those who can't get enough of Japanese ladies who love their distortion and flail their hair wildly. Basically, I needed this album to kick ass and keep my addiction satiated. Now I'm feeling good. Fuck rehab.