Blood Freak - Total Destruction Of The Human Form - (7/10)
Published on October 25, 2017
Since 2003, the Portland based Blood Freak have been churning out blood soaked death/grind pretty consistently. With now six full-lengths in about 14 years, the project has been reliable with new material every three years or so. Being mostly an outlet for Maniac Neil (Lord Gore, among others), he has enlisted various musicians over the band’s history to join him, but he has been the only continual member thus far. 2017 sees the band punishing audiences further with 15 tracks of dirty and filthy grind on Total Destruction Of The Human Form. Out via HPGD Productions, the record speeds by in no time and is enjoyable, not not without some faults.
Running through 15 tracks over the fairly brief time of 34 minutes means of course these songs are not epic tales that go through various peaks and valleys and tell a long story. What we do get through are some utterly aggressive and heavy grind/death metal. The music itself comes across darker, and the tone of the music much deeper than your “normal” grind band, making this album stand out a bit from the pack. The use of deep growls as well instead of a higher pitched bark or scream is a nice change of pace, leaning clearly more to the death metal side of the coin. There are some nice thrashy elements as well (around the solo section in “Rotting Skin Shroud”) that show that Blood Freak is more than just a standard act. The music is quite enjoyable, with each track packing in plenty of riffs, and the drum work very commendable for the speed and consistency during the more chaotic moments.
As the album goes on, the tracks do bleed into one another a tad, making some of the tracks feel interchangeable or even just lacking in enough variety to make them really stand out. There are times where the record does tend to fall into the background a little, going by in such a blur that you may go through three or so songs before realizing. From a sheer heaviness standpoint, this release hits the mark, but does fail a bit in memorability. Again though, there is merit to the band for combining death metal and grind with aspects of thrash and even the occasional punk riff or two to give some added attitude.
While it can be hard to really fault an album for doing exactly what it sets out to do, there is something to be said about warranting repeated listens. While Total Destruction Of The Human Form is fun for a few spins, it does wear a bit thin. There has been some great grind and death metal lately, and while Blood Freak certainly deserve a spot alongside a lot of those acts, there’s something just not quite as enticing being presented here. As mentioned earlier, if you just want the heaviest of the heavy, you’d do well to give this a listen, but sadly the record does not scream essential listening for fans of the genres.