(By Shaun Katz, Staff Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Sometime in the last year, four old school punk rockers, formerly of the Cro-Mags, Danzig and Kyuss, gathered together in a rehearsal room and a goddamned atomic bomb went off. Bloodclot‘s ‘Up In Arms’ is a serious force to be reckoned with.
‘Up In Arms‘ was released mid-July through Metal Blade Records, recorded at NRG in Los Angeles, produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Revocation), and mixing done by Kyle McAulay at NRG.
For those jaded listeners who are becoming weary of older musicians trying to relive past glories, Bloodclot! is the REAL DEAL. In fact, the title ‘Up In Arms‘ is a serious understatement, against its sheer weight.
Ring leader John Joseph (Cro-Mags) has something to say – and nothing will stop him! Completely void of cheesiness or filler of any kind, this possessed madman has a message to get out, and lots of snare drums and guitar strings could get hurt in the process.
Bloodclot‘s lean, savagely muscular sound brings to mind the best moments of Slayer, Cro-Mags and Bad Brains all rolled up into one furiously punchy experience, which feels like a strong contender for my favourite release of 2017.
Joseph couldn’t have a musically stronger bunch of maniacs holding down the fort, either. Bloodclot’s roster includes bassist Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, The Dwarves), drummer Joey Castillo (Sugartooth, Queens Of The Stone Age) and guitarist Todd Youth (Danzig, Murphy’s Law). The three of them combined seem to help bring out something ferocious in John Joseph like never before, surpassing even his greatest Cro-Magnon moments.
Right from the opening moments, Bloodclot sounds like a rabid bulldog that will tear through anything in its sights; its teeth grinding away, its brain busting through its skull and its enormous heart beating on the outside of its body, as the band blast through 12 tracks protesting the current state of the world.
- “Their business is death
- Business is booming
- Ready for war
- End game is looming
- In this world.
- Where nothing seems real.
- Lost our compassion
- Forgot how to feel”
- (Up In Arms, song lyrics)
What make this album special is, perhaps, the emotion at the centre of ‘Up In Arms‘, which manifests itself not only through its lyrics, but also through Joseph’s surprisingly strong handle on melody.
Joseph’s tirades against corporate America and politicians may not be anything groundbreaking, but his gutsy, passionate delivery is what makes the impact – and this conviction is what seals the album’s ability to channel ‘ye old time, classic Hardcore.
‘Manic‘ and ‘Kill The Beast‘ take a sharp left turn, finding Joseph squealing and squawking away in a curiously successful string of nods to Bad Brains and Minor Threat, before the album changes its approach to the all out Metal kind.
Tracks like ‘Prayer‘ and ‘Slipping Into Darkness‘ showcase Bloodclot being more interested in forging their own style, rather than masterfully paying tribute to the some of the other old school greats.
The real crown jewel however is ‘Slow Kill Genocide‘, which showcases Joseph’s songwriting chops, rather than just his guts, sweat and soul. ‘Siva/Rudra‘ also cements Bloodclot’s sound on the album, finding Joseph completely out of his mind (and totally in his element), howling like an animal, with Castillo‘s psychotic drumming rising to the challenge, with Oliveri and Youth matching his every move.
The most impressive thing about ‘Up In Arms‘ is how it maintains this ridiculous level intensity, yet still gives each song its own identity. As a result, the listener never feels bludgeoned by its brutal force.
The first half of ‘Up In Arms‘ feels more laser focused with hints of where things are headed – which is an eventual no holds barred, all out attack on mediocrity and half measures…
‘Up In Arms’ is an absolute sonic war zone… Enjoy!
1. Up in Arms
4. Kill the Beast
6. Siva / Rudra
7. Soldiers of the New Babylon
9. Slow Kill Genocide
10. Slipping into Darkness
11. Life As One
12. You’ll Be the Death of Me
Remaining TOUR DATES:
(with NAILS, FINAL CONFLICT)
Aug 04, The Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 05, Constellation Room, Santa Ana, CA
Aug 06, Brick By Brick, San Diego, CA