Artist:  Bloodbound
   Title: Tabula Rasa
   Label: Blistering Records

I've got to admit - I'd not heard of Bloodbound until I was given this new album.  On first impressions they remind me of Hammerfall (being melodic metal from Scandinavia too, indeed the promo bumpf with the CD states that should Hammerfall ever split, singer Joachim Cans would like to join Bloodbound!), but singer Urban Breed has a stronger voice, coming across Dio like, especially on album opener 'Sweet Dreams of Madness'.
 
The aforementioned 'Sweet Dreams of Madness' starts off with a tight pummeling drum beat, which carries on through the song, carried along with an almost thrashy guitar riff.  Some frenetic soloing towards the end edge towards the progressive, before the drum beat returns as Breed declares he's "Turning the inside out".  This is probably my favourite track on the album and an excellent opener.
 
'Domininon 5' is next up, and Breed stretches his voice further, along with some nice vocal harmonies. Some good opportunities for head-banging in this one, before the track breaks down into a "lighters aloft" passage, before returning to the heavy stuff.
 
"What if its all a lie, or just a waste of time?" croons Breed on 'Take One', the third track on the disc. This one is pretty similar to 'Dominion 5', with a similar riff, however a blistering guitar solo in the mid section is the killer difference.  This track has also probably got the catchiest chorus on the album....

'Tabula Rasa' comes along next, and has an epic sounding quality, again with another excellent guitar solo. The pace doesn't slow down at all and a catchy riff helps keep the track chugging along at a fast pace. Definitely one of the stand out tracks on the album!
 
'Night Touches You' slows down the pace slightly, the keyboards high in the mix and some fine vocal harmonies give the track a gothic feel, (actually reminded me a little of Dream Theater's "Forsaken"). There's again some lighters aloft moments, and Breed probably stretches his voice the furthest on this track.
 
'Tabula Rasa Part 2' instantly reminded me of Megadeth's 'Kick The Chair' with its opening drum riff......which is a good thing!  The track is basically a continuation of 'Tabula Rasa', track 4, and is the heaviest track on the album.
 
'Plague Doctor' is another head-bangers delight, with more quality guitar work from brothers Tomas and Henrik Olsson.....disappointingly it seems to end just as its getting into the swing of things....
 
Track 9, 'Twisted Kind of Fate', brings the kick-drum riff back to the fore, similar to the album opener, with a slightly slower pace. Another epic vocal performance from Breed complements the riff well, before the track slows down and kind of fades, creeping out of the room as if no one has noticed......
 
The final track, 'All Rights Reserved' is backed up with a fantastic bass line and lyrically sounds like a tirade against record companies, presumably the band have had problems before with recognition, acceptance etc. Again this track is finished just as its getting along nicely with itself, finishing rather abruptly.
 
All in all, this is a very strong record, and pleasingly heavier than I expected it to be.  I'd be interested to hear some of the bands other work, even though I'm not a massive fan of melodic metal!

Review by: Dan Armstrong


Tracklisting:

1. Sweet Dreams Of Madness
2. Dominion 5
3. Take One
4. Tabula Rasa
5. Night Touches You
6. Tabula Rasa Pt. II (Nothing At All)
7. Plague Doctor
8. Master Of My Dreams
9. Twisted Kind Of Fate
10. All Rights Reserved

                  

 

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