After BLOOD TSUNAMI washed me away with their tour de force debut “Thrash Metal”, I was more than chomping at the bit to get a hold of any new material from the Norwegian monsters. I won’t lie when I threw caution into the air for their sophomore effort as I didn’t know if the band could match the sheer energy and ferocity of their debut. I wanted so badly for them to come back with a vengeance. So now I sit listening to their second full length release, entitled “Grand Feast For Vultures” and I can safely say this: if “Thrash Metal” was a jab punch to the face of Thrash, then “Grand Feast For Vultures” is the follow up right hook that will knock your pansy ass out cold.
BLOOD TSUNAMI was never a band to hold back from their onslaught and this sophomore album holds that element of the band to the highest of heights. It opens with a very SLAYER-esque chaotic “Castle Of Skulls” that just breathes that modern Thrash Metal sound and mixes it with that Norwegian darkness. It’s not all chaos though on “Grand Feast For Vultures”, they throw in some mid tempo riff-ragers like “Personal Exorcism” and even the more melodic sounding (as melodic as I can assume this band can get) album closer “One Step Closer To The Grave” all the while retaining that massive edge that makes this album that killer right hook.
Performance wise, it’s hard to criticize BLOOD TSUNAMI. These Norwegians know how to throw down with really technical, fast, and well written material. I was impressed this time around with how the two guitarists are exploring their abilities with one another. The lead play offs and solo work that erupts from the riffs is stunning and even Faust (you might recognize the name from his former band EMPEROR) gives the skins a hard core workout with melodic cymbal work and some very impressive double bass work. I liked the fact that they partnered Pete Evil’s hissing Black Metal esque scream with some heavier growled layering to give it a little more power in some of the choruses. It works like a charm!
Once again I also must admit that one of the best songs on the album is their instrumental (no offense to the vocal work which is top notch). “Eceladus Rising” is a traveling and weaving track that offers the best of everything that BLOOD TSUNAMI has to offer. Starts off as a kick to the teeth but then it takes you threw the ups and downs before ending with some melodic dueling guitar work – it’s perhaps one of the best instrumentals I have ever had the pleasure listening to.
“Grand Feast For Vultures” might insinuate that this band is dead but the music on the album is far from that. It is just electric with energy and focus and is easily going to be one of the best albums (Thrash or otherwise) for 2009. BLOOD TSUNAMI set the bar high with their debut but they easily matched it with this second release.
Songs to check out: “Eceladus Rising”, “Castle Of Skulls”, “Laid To Waste”.
(Online May 20, 2009)