Do you have any melodic death metal in your life? Yes? Oh, but hold one a second, this is made in Britain! Hampshire’s Bloodshot Dawn are now a couple of years old and have recently released Demons, their second full length studio album. It’s one thing to have a well received debut, but it’s another thing entirely to follow it up with something that is as at least good. How many bands do actually manage that though? Bloodshot Dawn aren’t far off here.
Demons opens with Smoke and Mirrors, a five and a half minute beast of a track. If you weren’t familiar with Bloodshot Dawn before this track, you sure as hell know what they’re about now. A chugging opening riff sets the tone for both the track and the album as a whole. On top of this, Josh McMorran has a seriously strong scream on him and it is good to hear that his vocals slot in perfectly over the riffs, being used as the extra instrument they’re intended to be. It’s a great opener and that is mainly down to the musicianship on show here. All four band members contribute and the production on show pieces them all together nicely. The real winner on this album is the riffs though. Throughout the entire album they are good, very good in fact, but they are sometimes let down by the drumming. In songs like Consequence Complex it is just a ravaging storm of bass drum. It seems like being that little bit heavier came out on top with this track.
Moving on, Unified comes up next. Clocking a second short of seven minutes you’d be forgiven for looking at the timings and getting a bit worried. There’s no reason to be though, quite the opposite in fact. This is probably the track of the album. The opening continues the ‘storm’ with the drums, but this subsides and only rears its head temporarily a couple of times again. The seven minutes fly by and the solo midway through the track is yet another example of how good Bloodshot Dawn can be. Aside from this, there are three stand out tracks on the album, opener Smoke and Mirrors being one with Black Hole Infinity and The Image Faded being the other two. These are a mark above others on the album because they seem to have a balance that a couple other tracks are missing. Human Void is the perfect example of this. It feels disjointed and a bit rushed. Team this up with Inadequacy and you have what could be described as your ‘filler’. Luckily, they’re merely the bread around the meat that is a Black Hole Infinity sandwich. This track has the bruising drums, it has the fast paced riffs and it has an expertly crafted rhythm section.
Overall, this isn’t quite on the level of their self-titled debut and has its problems, but none of them are enough to ruin your enjoyment. If your life is missing some big riffs, some killer solos and a powerful scream you’re in the right place. On a side note, it is good to see another band taking pride in their album artwork. Another fine piece takes the cover here. What is most impressive though is that these guys have now put out two albums without a label. How good could these guys be with the added comfort of a record deal?