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Bloodbound: Unholy Cross

Since their birth in the middle of the last decade, Sweden's Bloodbound have had the curse of the rotating lead singer. Urban Breed sang on their first and third albums (Nosferatu and Tabula Rasa) whilst German Michael Bormann took over behind the microphone for the utterly fabulous Book of the Dead in 2007. Now we have Patrick Johansson and he's slotted in nicely as the band has returned to the form which made Book of the Dead such a wonderful outing.

Unholy Cross is a record which can be played from back to front, over and over again. None of the songs slip below being solid and as one would expect the choruses are more than hummable. It's fairly bog standard Euro power metal but such is the quality of the tunes and the production that Unholy Cross rises above much of the dross that gives the genre such a bad name.

Like the recent Symfonia album In Paradisum the most obvious reference point is Edguy (before they got rubbish) as the aforementioned Johansson does have a touch of the Samet's in his delivery. As I said in my review of In Paradisum this could most definitely be a good thing if you're feeling a tad retro or you just want some straightforward sing along metal. It's difficult to pick standout tracks but the opener "Moria" and "Together We Fight" are quality fist punchers powered by Gothic stylings and Steve Harris-like bass lines. It's difficult not to be bowled over by the sheer quality on offer.

Track Listing:
01. Moria
02. Drop The Bomb
03. The Ones We Left Behind
04. Reflections Of Evil
05. In For The Kill
06. Together We Fight
07. The Dark Side Of Life
08. Brothers Of War
09. Message From Hell
10. In The Dead Of Night
11. Unholy Cross

Added: September 21st 2011
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2515
Language: english

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Bloodbound: Unholy Cross
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-21 18:27:07
My Score:

Power metal act Bloodbound might have 'another' new singer in the form of Patrick Johansson (yeah, they've made a habit of doing this), but the formula hasn't changed much here on their latest platter of upbeat metal called Unholy Cross. If you dig Iron Maiden, Edguy, Helloween (Johansson sounds like a cross between Dickinson, Sammet, and Kiske) and Hammerfall, than chances are Unholy Cross will push all the right buttons for you.

Blazing twin guitar leads? Check. Speedy power metal riffage? Check. High pitched melodic vocals? Check. Manic rhythms? Check. Just the right amount of keyboards? Check. Sing along choruses? Check. It's all hear folks. While you won't find Unholy Cross to be the most original sounding power metal CD you've heard this year, things fire on all cylinders from start to finish, and many of these songs will stick in your head for hours after the album has stopped playing. I'll give the guys a pass for putting a guitar solo that's a complete rip-off of John Norum's classic lead in "The Final Countdown" on the track "The One We Left Behind", as there are just so many classy, melodic metal tunes here to enjoy. Ballad "Brothers of War", crunchy speed metal behemoths "Message From Hell", "Mokia", "In the Dead of Night", and "Drop the Bomb" all completely cook, so expect to find much to savor here.

There are a lot of choices as far as European power metal is concerned this year, but do yourself a favor and make sure that Bloodbound's Unholy Cross is on your radar.

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