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Bloodstained: Greetings From Hell

Belying this Greek band's name and album title, Greetings From Hell is a solid heavy-metal disc that gives major props to both the initial New Wave of British Heavy Metal and old-school power metal. There's plenty of pseudo-evil tendencies going on here, with the sometimes operatic, sometimes gruff voice of Theodoros Gourlomatis soaring over gang vocals, impressive screaming guitar solos from Giorgos Kalavrezos, and a rock-hard rhythm section featuring bassist Stavros Aivaliotis and drummer Agelos Tsoukalas.

In Europe, where all four of these dudes honed their craft in little-known bands such as Phantom Lord, Power Crue, Secret Show and Fading Reality, Bloodstained have opened for the likes of Brainstorm, Jag Panzer and Omen. And it's easy to hear why, as the tunes on this debut will repeatedly kick your ass harder with each listen. While there is a prog-metal element to some of these songs (the brooding "Sacrifice" and the anthemic "Bloodstain"), there's not a whole lot of originality at play. And a few tracks are generic duds ("The Fugitive," "Die By My Sword"). But I've always maintained that music doesn't always have to break ground to sound good. And most of this stuff, plain and simple, sounds good.

Bloodstained is only my second exposure to material released by Greece's Cult Metal Classics, the label that also issued the surprisingly solid Under A Savage Sky by Jack Starr's Guardians of the Flame in 2003. If you're searching for a new source of "cult" metal by bands with which you may not be familiar, check it out.

Track Listing:
1) Smash Your Heads (0:12)
2) Die By My Sword (4:07)
3) Prisoners of Time (5:11)
4) Burn the Sky (6:01)
5) Bloodstain (4:26)
6) Greetings From Hell (4:04)
7) Sacrifice (5:25)
8) Related to Danger (4:19)
9) The Fugitive (5:00)
10) Son of the Damned (6:36)
Total Time: 45:26

Added: June 25th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Cult Metal Classics
Hits: 3094
Language: english

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