Bonded by blood-Feed the beast
To some extent I was anticipating this release from southern California thrash outfit Bonded by blood despite the fact that I have not been overly impressed by many of the other new wave of retro thrash acts recently. After several spins I can safely that this band isn't doing a whole lot that wasn't already accomplished twenty years ago. However, I do feel that they have done enough to establish themselves as one of the leaders of the current thrash revival. The style presented here reminds me of a mixture of Steve Souza-era Exodus, Testament and even Anthrax. What really got me about these guys wasn't as much what they played, but rather how they went at it or rather how they attacked their material. They were not as consistent as I was hoping, but when they got on a roll they just plowed ahead with some hyper blasts of thrash and power. There in lies the difference because I have heard too many younger thrash acts sound so cautious and planned out and the results are so-so when you approach this style of music in that way. Bonded by blood know how to build up a good head of steam and then explode with some nasty, bone crushing parts. Now if they could just get a better grip on it and maintain in for longer periods of time then they might be on to something that's beyond just being part of a limited retro movement. What didn't work for me was the group chorus chants that dragged some of the songs down to a rather typical style. The group vocals chimed in and it was like slapping a stamp on the CD that said "made in 1989". Not that '89 was a bad year at all, but rather that this really limited their progress in my mind. I think that despite a few time capsule like inclusions that these guys are on or at least near the right track. If they can bring it around and move into their own on their next album than might on their way to really emerging from the pack.