Bloodred Hourglass - Godsend - (8.5/10)
Published on July 5, 2019
Godsend is the very definition of Finish melodic death metal and a strong reminder of why it’s great as a genre. If you’re a metalhead and you’re not familiar with the famous sound of Finnish death metal you are doing yourself a massive disservice but let’s get past the obvious. Bloodred Hourglass’ sound on this new album is in my humble opinion a very strong representative of this iconic sub-genre. This is the band’s fourth full length and it has on offer 10 fast fun sized powerful tracks with all the spirit and vigor in Santa’s magical homeland. These songs waste no time with excessive introduction and jump straight into some of the most “headbangable” material you could think of. Not too complex at the core yet very inspired, they’re not exactly anthems but still very infectious and catchy. Godsend is the kind of album built with the central idea of making something that’s not over the top and sophisticated but just sounds bloody good and is massive fun to listen to.
I haven’t heard very much of the band’s previous releases but this one does feel like a result that was perfected and matured over time. This certainly shows in the full meaty sound and rich production that the album benefits from and also in the way the emotional part of it is conveyed. The music has a nostalgic slightly sorrowful vibe that is neatly delivered with a lot of intensity. That is not in any way supposed to suggest a lack of power. The songs all have a driving energy that constantly keeps the listener alert and in sync. It never gets slow or boring.
On a more analytical note, the ideas used to build the songs are complementing each other very well, and I feel like the natural flow of it is a great plus in the album’s big picture. The guitar work is defined by a great combination of riffs & leads that almost always go hand in hand. So the main elements of the guitar work are the stomping riffs and grooves working alongside the anthem like melodies. There’s also the occasional tremolo picking idea that brings a very different vibe. On top of it all come the solos that are built for the sake of utter melodic brilliance. There is little showing off and just enough technical prowess involved to create fairly intense solos. This is all accompanied by well suited drumming that feels fitted to enhance the energy that the songs give and topped by a good harsh vocal delivery with enough range and power to live up to the standard of the instrumental.
A more discrete but still very important aspect of “Godsend” is the symphonic element. It may not draw too much attention but it creates an underlying flow of atmospheric sounds that gives the songs more substance and builds upon that earlier mentioned nostalgic vibe. On occasions the samples do come forward bringing the flavor of a cold spring morning breeze (bridge in “The Unfinished Story”, intros to “Waves of Black” and “My Route”, the entirety of “White Feather”). It’s a simple touch but it has an amazing effect that instantly replaces the driving adrenaline with serene peace for brief moments.
The only negative I have for the album is that there isn’t much variation. The slightly slower, more melancholic closing track “White Feather” is a welcome shift in pace but doesn’t totally cut it. However “Godsend” is a solid slab of melodic death metal and from personal experience I can vouch that the band is also great when going on stage. More than worthy of your time!