Blood Feast - The Future State Of Wicked - (7/10)
Published on April 2, 2017
It must be a tough fate to be constantly late to the party. Just ask Blood Feast, the re-activated thrash outfit from New Jersey. First, they their 1987 debut album into Kill for Pleasure provided decent, but unimaginative raw thrash a year after that style burst into the scene. Then, they jumped on the tail end of the technical thrash wagon for their sophomore… and disbanded afterwards. No accolades were reached, simply because Blood Feast may have been in the right places, but never in the right time. And now, as the post-2000 thrash revival has morphed into a different beast, the quintet releases a comeback album, The Future State Of Wicked, quite audibly pays respect to the thrashin’ 80s.
Perhaps that’s the reason why the opener “INRI” takes less than a second to lunge into your face with a manic scream and high-speed riffage. The band, now led by the lone 80s member, guitarist Adam Tranquilli, quite audibly retreads back to their debut rather than their second album. As a result, The Future State Of Wicked is wild, aggressive and in-your-face thrash metal. And just like the debut, it may have all been done before. Stock-standard thrash riffage that, however, does work. And there are some other aspects of the album that make it worthwhile.
First of all, Chris Natalini has a hellish high-pitched scream that gives the songs plenty of personality and power. Probably most akin to Mille Petrozza constantly stubbing his toe against the bedframe, Natalini is all over the place, shouting and snarling with the best of them. Chris even handles the slower parts well, but sounds like a madman when he gets into his spastic delivery. Another thing that really helps this album to inflict more damage is its terrific production. The balance is almost perfect, and the whole album maintains a very old-school, organic sound, that tries to hide the fact that it’s not 1990 anymore.
The album is not even 45 minutes long, but feels just a bit monotonous, as the quality sinks a bit in the second half. It might be because the opening is lethal – “INRI” is the fastest song on the album, followed by a bit more of the same, and then “Brethren” is just catchy and bouncy as hell. But after the longer, yet well-written “The Underling” and its devastatingly slow middle-section that may as well be thrown into an Obituary song, you have pretty much heard everything. The rest of the songs are not bad, just not particularly memorable and certainly not inventive.
Outside of some neat songwriting ideas, not much of Blood Feast’s third album really stands out. The rhythm section, too, is solid, merging tight and fairly fill-happy drumming with a thumping bass. Comparatively, both the rhythm and the lead guitarwork is not as flashy in comparison, but as a whole, The Future State of Wicked succeeds in sounding like a team effort. It’s really only Natalini that gets to unleash his utmost fury.
In the end, The Future State of Wicked is a humble, but decent offering. As such, it gets the job done, because it serves as a perfect nod to the old school without being redundant. With superb over-the-top vocals and a surprisingly good production job, it should spend some well-deserved time in the ears of thrash fans. Especially those who have worn out their Slayer, early Sacrifice and Morbid Saint records and are looking for another fix.