"The Bloodening" (Rockshots Records; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Bloody Hell bursts out of the gates on "The Bloodening," starting off with a deceptively quiet intro and then blasting into the balls-out rocker, "Hangover Rider." It never stops from there. "The Bloodening" is a locomotive of sound, an apologetic heavy metal album that takes influences from every heavy metal god (Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Mustaine, Lemmy, etc.) and turns it into a killer record all their own.

There's so much I like about "The Bloodening." The guitars are thick and heavy, propelled by an awesome rhythm section that plows through your mind like a snowplow through snow. And the vocals are even more amazing. Not because the lead vocalist is Ronnie James Dio-good (he's good but maybe not that good ... but who is?) but because the band is afraid to take chances, and throws things into the vocal mix that make you sit up and take notice.

Lyrically ... well, I'm not sure the band is being serious or just having fun so I'll let you be the judge of that aspect of "The Bloodening."

My favorite tracks were the aforementioned "Hangover Rider," the Iron Maiden gallop of "Burn Witch Burn" and the raunchy almost punk rock-paced "Bite." That being said, there's not a track on the album that makes me reach for the SKIP button. And you can't help but get caught up in the strange, spoken-word closing track, "Kiesma (The Museum of Modern Art).

If you're looking for almost an hour of pure heavy metal power in the vein of Accept and the like, then look no further than Bloody Hell's "The Bloodening."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.