Bloodiest – Bloodiest (S/T)

Rating: 3/5
Released: 2016
Label: Relapse Records
Buy album:
Band website:

bloodiest finalLine-up:

Bruce Lamont – Vocals
Cayce Key – Drums
Tony Lazzara – Guitar
Eric Chaleff – Guitar
Colin Dekuiper – Bass
Nandini Khaund – Piano/Synth


Track listing:

1. Mesmerize
2. The Widow
3. Condition
4. Broken Teeth
5. Mind Overlaps
6. He Is Disease
7. Separation
8. Suffer



Bloodiest aren’t one of those bloody-your-nose bands. If you’re going to do any bleeding here it’s the cerebral kind. This is only the second album from the Chicago lot, but there’s form with frontman Bruce Lamont also doing sax/vocals in Yakuza, and the others having played with the likes of Russian Circles and Sterling.

It’s something of a dark drone rock number, sometimes feeling like a film soundtrack, sometimes some sort of project. ‘Mesmerize’ has got the ghost of a Tool vibe, although the vocals sound a little shoddy (something you can never accuse Tool of), and without the brilliance. Still along with straight-into-one-another ‘Separation’ and ‘Suffer’ it’s up there with the better end of what Bloodiest has to offer. ‘Broken Tooth’’s slowed down drum and then increased pace makes it

On the flipside ‘Condition’ sounds like someone having a tune-up and ‘Mind Overlaps’ is just atmospheric filler. It’s at these points that Bloodiest starts to veer off into something that doesn’t sound quite true. Maybe the band truly believe in these tracks, but that doesn’t come through in the songs themselves. They sound like placemarkers, fillers, things that maybe fit the idea of what Bloodiest should be.

The screaming cries of ‘The Widow’ cut right through in a pretty good approximation of despair, but the song as a whole is easily forgotten. As a whole the album conveys the appearance of deep emotion, but when you get in sometimes actually only comes up to your ankles.

When it comes to making an impression Bloodiest doesn’t quite. Some of the songs come close and if this was an EP at half the length we’d be saying something different. At present the middle half sags under its own aspirations and instead of getting you thinking, instead your finger gets twitching. And that is not what you bloody want.

Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Copyright © The Independent Voice 2016