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By Blood Alone: Thunderbirds

Since the release of 2007's Seas of Blood, By Blood Alone has been on quite an emotional journey. Lead vocalist Cruella survived her battle with breast cancer since then, and (according to the band's website) this has brought forward "her most personal writing yet". Thunderbirds, the band's second full-length album, may contain her most personal writing so far, but I find it to be an severely flawed release. I really wish that the final product would've ended up a bit stronger, because it's clear that the band put their heart and soul into this album. Though this certainly isn't a terrible album, Thunderbirds is passable at best and far from the top of the heap of female-fronted gothic metal acts. If the band fixes a few of the crippling flaws on this effort, maybe their next effort will warrant some more praise from my direction.

By Blood Alone plays a style of gothic metal with influence from doom metal and progressive metal. The atmosphere here is much more raw and unpolished than your average female-fronted gothic metal band, though. The keyboards don't consist of synths, but instead use piano and (far too often) a cheesy organ tone. I really wish the band would spice up their arrangements a bit more; Thunderbirds really sounds very bland thanks to the uninspired arrangements. "Misfit" is probably the highlight track here, and much of the remaining duration of the album is fairly unremarkable. By Blood Alone is clearly a talented act, but the production and arrangements are so bland that Thunderbirds sounds almost a tad amateurish. The compositions themselves aren't (for the most part) spectacular either, but I could see them being greatly improved by a better production.

I wasn't very impressed by Thunderbirds, but fans of female-fronted gothic metal that's different from the norm may want to check it out. The raw, doomy atmosphere immediately sets them aside from your average Within Temptation clone. By Blood Alone has their own distinct sound, but they'll need to make a more convincing effort before I'm too impressed. 2.5 stars is the most I can give here.

Track Listing:
1. Drive All Night (9:05)
2. Night Terrors (6:55)
3. I Bleed (10:04)
4. Having Tea (5:25)
5. Stalking (6:59)
6. Thunderbirds (10:03)
7. Misfit (7:48)

Added: July 10th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1840
Language: english

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