Looking for some new Death metal to spice up your Spotify? Then look no further than the latest offering from Nuclear Blast with Bleeding Gods latest ‘Dodekathlon’. Following up from their debut album ‘Shepard of Souls’, the band are back and sounding bigger than ever with Mark Huisman on vocals, Ramon Ploeg on guitar, Gea Mulder on bass & backing vocals, Rutger van Noordenburg on guitar and Daan Klemann on drums – they make a demonic force to be reckoned with.
Kicking things off with ‘Bloodguilt’ you might be mistaken for thinking this opener is a little understated with its heavy synth and deeply spoken words in the first few bars. You’d be wrong. The song quickly develops into sheer heaviness, with chugging riffage and deep guttural vocals which provide the listener with a gut-busting and eye-watering opener. ‘Multiple Decapitation’ flows nicely from ‘Bloodguilt’ with a heavy slower-paced style of death metal and a significant amount of symphonic undertones. With an array of tempo changes throughout, this song is as smooth as it is gritty. Just like a good liquor! With a haunting breakdown which puts the guitar solo in the spotlight, one can only imagine the images of pure nightmares about the guardian gates of hell.
This album doesn’t beat around the bush rather beats around the face with a hammer. An onslaught from start to finish. If you like your metal heavy, fast and with the mission of annihilation then ‘Beloved By Artemis’ is the track for you. Don’t be fooled by its punishing opening, this track has a few surprises up its sleeve which demonstrates this band's excellent use of changing the pace and introduces a folk/battle metal feel with some phenomenal guitar soloing. All before giving you another slap in the face to see the song out.
‘From Feast To Beast’ begins with something that can be only best described as a score from a horror movie. Imagine, if you will, Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) swapped places with Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) - that would be an ideal way to describe not only this band but also this song. This misanthropic tale, ‘Inhuman Humiliation’, as the title may imply, demonstrates the band's dismay at humankind. Overall, a less technical song, but by no means any less spectacular. With not so many time changes as we’ve been treated to before, the song has a moody undertone to it which adds that extra layer of malevolence for the listener to enjoy.
‘Birds Of Hate’ may take the listener by surprise with its almost Slayer-like thrash metal feel. The drums throughout this song, in particular, are spectacular in their relentless assault and take the listener on a voyage to Armageddon. Followed by an eerie beginning in ‘Saviour Of Crete’, the sound of rolling thunder in the background creates a moody, atmospheric feel. Once the band fully kick in you know you’re in for an anthem of hate. It’s Cradle Of Filth mixed with Morbid Angel vibes and just a tinge of ‘Gods of emptiness’ to it.
An interlude of sorts intervals the album nicely on ‘Tyrannical Blood’, at 3:38 minutes long this song is well placed on the album. We are treated to some amazing guitar work played on a classical nylon strung guitar, like a desperado sent straight from Hades. The ‘Seeds Of Distrust’ are sown well in the next track, a truly intense song that has it all. You almost wonder if ‘Tyrannical Blood’ intentionally eased the listener into a false sense of security. ‘Seeds Of Distrust’ returns to blasting beats, earth-shattering growls and guitar work that Kerry King would be gladly proud to call his own. (We assume.) Death, Black, Battle, Symphonic metal and a touch of old-school Trash. This track has it all. 10 tracks in and at almost 7 mins long, you know this ‘Tripled Anger’ is going to be epic. It opens up again with a film score sound that leads the way to an all-guns-blazing collage of sound like a tidal wave of metal hitting the coast time after time.
Penultimate track ‘Hera´s Orchard’ is reminiscent of Dissection ‘The Somberlain’ in some ways, with its melodic guitars; journeying from the faster to the more anthemic. There’s a distinctly blackened death metal feel to this song. Perhaps it’s even enough to unite the divide between your most hardened of Black metal fans and purist Death metal fans. A possible contender for song of the album.
The listeners' journey ends with ‘Hound of Hell’. From the moment you hit play on this album, you know it's going to end on a high and not just dissipate with an album filler ending that we hear so many times when it comes to the last track. ‘Hounds of Hell’, as the title explains, is somewhat of a morbid tale of the descension into the underworld and portraying Hercules last of the 12 labours and the horror that awaited him. A ballad of brutality and an apt sign off from a band who’ve been able to mix multiple genres of extreme metal and still achieve a very independent and original sound. As the song fades out, we here the crackling of wood on the fire and you gain a sense that the embers will remain glowing until this band come back and hit us with their next delight.
If you’d like to hear this live and loud, then check out the album release show event taking place on Feb 2nd here: -
Beloved By Artemis
From Feast To Beast
Birds Of Hate
Saviour Of Crete
Seeds Of Distrust
Hound Of Hell