Sweden’s BLOODBOUND scored in a very big way when it picked up ex-TAD MOROSE vocalist, Urban Breed. I was bummed when I heard that Breed left (was kicked out of?) his former band, as I regard him as one of Metal’s greatest, most charismatic frontmen. But on the other hand, I was excited to hear of BLOODBOUND. And after hearing the band’s debut album, “Nosferatu”, I can say that the excitement was completely justified.
“Nosferatu” is an expertly executed slab of Power Metal meets traditional Heavy Metal. IRON MAIDEN-isms run rampant, and nods to all schools of the above-mentioned genres abound. There’s very little in the way of originality to be found on “Nosferatu”, but BLOODBOUND pulls everything off with such precision, that originality is not missed. And hell, if you’re looking for originality, this isn’t exactly the best genre to be looking in.
What you do get are fast, heavy, galloping songs, full of double bass workouts and duel guitar leads. “Behind The Moon”, the title track and “Screams In The Night” could have been penned by Steve Harris and the boys in their heyday, and “Crucified” and “Fallen From Grace” have much in common with “Keepers…”-era HELLOWEEN. Of course, Urban Breed’s vocals will draw immediate comparisons to TAD MOROSE, and those too are not without warrant, as “Metal Monster” and “Desdemonamelia” both remind a bit of that band. Overall, there is not a bad song to be found on “Nosferatu”, and the production is superb, so everything sounds great.
Normally, I don’t make much mention of the visuals of an album, but I can’t help it here. The cover art is so ridiculous it’s laughable, and the band pictures look like a rejected DIMMU BORGIR or CRADLE OF FILTH photo shoot. I don’t know if this was meant as a joke, but it’s something BLOODBOUND may want to rethink with future releases.
The lack of originality on “Nosferatu” could potentially irk some Metalheads, but as mentioned above, those people probably shouldn’t be listening to Power Metal anyway. As it stands, BLOODBOUND have released one of the year’s best Power Metal albums, original or not.
(As of the time I wrote this, Urban Breed had already quit BLOODBOUND. Quite a shame really.)
(Online December 12, 2006)