The genre known as ‘Christian Metal’ has had a strong year in terms of new releases, and it is clear that before the end of 2013, there are a few more gems awaiting us. After a 22 year wait, and with the help of a kick-starter fund (supplied by their fans), American band ‘Bloodgood’ have finally released their new album ‘Dangerously Close.’
‘Dangerously Close’ kicks off with the track ‘Lamb of God’ which introduces the listener to the band’s new musical approach. Moving away from their classic ‘heavy metal’, Bloodgood have created a series of tracks in a more ‘hard rock’ style which is featured in tracks such as ‘Run Away’, ‘Child of Earth’ and ‘Pray.’
However, for the ‘classic’ Bloodgood fans, there are still a number of classically composed tracks, such as ‘Bread Alone’ and ‘Run the Race’, the latter of which I found to be a particularly strong track in terms of musical composition. In ‘Run the Race’ the break down in particular is very striking as bassist and founding member, Michael Bloodgood, guitarists, Paul Jackson and Oz Fox, and drummer, Kevin Whisler are all given prime opportunities to exhibit their talents.
Something in particular that amazed me in the new release was the strength behind lead vocalist Les Carlson’s vocals throughout. His tone seems to have taken on a much grittier sound, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from hitting those high notes effortlessly. The strength and passion within his voice shines through greatly within the ballads of the album, especially the track ‘Father, Father’, which had a very Gospel-meets-The-Eagles quality to it.
‘Dangerously Close’ is not only the band’s first album in over two decades, it is also the first album to feature the band’s newest guitarist – Oz Fox, who is well known for being the lead guitarist for Stryper. The chemistry between Oz and the band is undeniable, especially in terms of his collaborations with fellow guitarist Paul Jackson, and vocalist Les Carlson.
The track, ‘Man In The Middle’ was the highlight of the album for me. Whilst ‘Lamb of God’ is considered to be the first single of the release, ‘Man In The Middle’ was actually already over 5 years old by the time the album was released after it was performed live at a number of previous gigs, including the Legends of Rock Festival in 2009. Packed full of punchy guitar riffs and with a strong performance from drummer Kevin Whisler, it was great to finally hear this track recorded.
Despite some mixing issues, this album really was a pleasure to listen to. It was great to hear that even though the band is nearly 30 years old, they can still write strong and fresh material.
1. Lamb of God
2. Run Away
3. Child of Earth
4. I Will
5. Bread Alone
7. I Can Hold On
8. Run The Race
9. Father Father
10. Man In The Middle
11. Crush Me
12. In The Trenches
Les Carlson – Lead Vocals
Michael Bloodgood – Bass & Backing Vocals
Paul Jackson – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Oz Fox – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Kevin Whisler – Drums