The Chicago six-piece known as Bloodiest are back with their sophomore platter of sludge & doom for Relapse Records, this time simply titled Bloodiest. Falling somewhere in the middle of a crowded mass of Neurosis, Mastodon, Sleep, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hawkwind, The Ocean, and Mogwai, the guys (and gal) in Bloodiest fluctuate between brooding sludge, dreamy psych induced prog, crushing doom, and wacky experimentation. Opening track "Mesmerize" punishes with heavy riffs and pulverizing grooves, but then the band completely change direction with the offbeat, melancholy "The Widow", as a mish-mash of psych, occult, prog, and doom elements collide for an intriguing ride. The brief "Condition" dives into folk & classical styles with some stunning guitar work, and the lumbering "Broken Teeth" contains some savage passages where doom riffs meet post rock atmosphere. Menacing growls clash with soaring clean vocals over massive, sludge ridden riffs and pounding drums on the ominous "He Is Disease", one of the more brutal tunes on the album, but then the band change gears completely once again for the odd yet satisfying "Separation", a wild Hawkwind influenced space rock-meets-prog-meets-new wave journey into madness with plenty of creepy sound effects and booming bass & guitar riffs. Bloodiest close the album on a high note with the rampaging death metal & sludge attack of "Suffer", again showing the listener that they are not content to sticking with one style from track to track.
At times quite heavy, others very progressive, and occasionally somber & haunting, Bloodiest shows a band that is willing to take some chances and create music that might appeal to a variety of heavy music listeners. Solid all around, and worth checking out.
2) The Widow
4) Broken Teeth
5) Mind Overlaps
6) He is Disease