Bloodrocuted - Disaster Strikes Back - (6.5/10)
Published on April 11, 2015
I have to give this band credit, as I was really not looking forward to modern thrash played by an act with such a puerile name. I was expecting lukewarm pizza thrash, but hey, looks like Bloodrocuted got that memo as well, and are at least cognizant of the derisory state of the global scene. Their answer is certainly one of excess, as Disaster Strikes Back pushes the collective envelope in a multitude of ways, toeing the line between thrash and (early) death metal at times, what with the use of visceral tremolo riffs and scattered blastbeats. The band takes a substantial Slayer influence to the bank and cashes it without compunction, and also draws some inspiration from lauded acts like Morbid Saint and Demolition Hammer. The surgical, muted precision of the axes congeal over rapidly shifting tempos and Briessinck’s forceful vocals. A dependable framework for sure, but does Bloodrocuted actually pull it off with a measure of gusto?
Sort of, but there are glaring weaknesses evident right away, not to mention the fact that the band is easily flanked by writing such true-to-convention tunes. This is aggressive thrash played from the instruction manual, and what really hurts Disaster Strikes Back are the deflated and frankly boring note progressions that have been done (oftentimes better) countless times before. Perhaps I can blame my experience with the genre as a contributor to this, but so little stuck with me in this regard that I had trouble gauging where tracks ended/began. It is just one singular accumulation of competently racing rhythms crammed under uninteresting melodies. It is frustrating to a degree, but at least Bloodrocuted abstain from falling flat on their faces outright due to the compact lethality of the homage they so dutifully pay to their forebears. Definitely digging a few of these songs on a structural level, including the Darkness Descends-sounding “Mors Indecepta” and the plasma broiling opener “Revolution of the Enslaved.”
Not to mention the fact that Briessinck mans the oars in a convincing fashion, sounding akin to Zetro’s harsher timbre often used on Tempo of the Damned. He can throw a literal curve ball of syllables as well, rollicking to and fro and selling the dialed-up aggression in a commendable way; a great vocalist for the style. Topping the consistent rhythm section with such a glaze helps Bloodrocuted mitigate some of their more overt missteps, and Disaster Strikes Back does pull it together on more than a couple of occasions. The lumbering groove summoned by the crushing interval of “The Sickened Mind” stands out, as does the grinding bursts and ample spatter induced by “Human-Beast.” I can chalk the stronger half of this record up as a feasible reproduction of genre norms, siphoned through modern production that is shockingly not a liability. Swinnen’s bass is crunchy and omnipresent, crackling and grumbling right beneath the primary armament. Concerning the bass, Disaster Strikes Back reminds me of some of Overkill’s well-produced mid period fare like Bloodletting and Killbox 13.
Although there are few songs here that I feel the instant urge to gaze back upon, Bloodrocuted are commendably bearing a flag oft-tossed aside in the modern thrash scene, and I can appreciate them well enough for that. Punishment 18 Records has quite a few bands in this style, but these Belgians stand out slightly and probably deserve a listen for fans of the mentioned bands. Its ubiquitous aggression stifles it somewhat, but if maximum impact is what you are looking for (at the expense of just about everything else), Bloodrocuted have got your back. Oh, I also really dig the colorful cover art, which carries on the theme from the debut. Let’s hope for improved riffs for the third installment, but this will scratch some itches well enough.