Bloodlust - At the Devil's Left Hand 01In the entire English language, no three words get me more excited than “Australian blackened thrash” (maybe “double bacon cheeseburger,” but that’s a different article). Deströyer 666, Gospel of the Horns, Nocturnal Graves — all great stuff, and Bloodlust is just as savage. This Perth-based trio formed in 2011 and consist of current and former members of Impiety, The Furor, and Mhorgl, among others. Somehow debut Cultus Diaboli slipped by me in 2015, but no matter — sophomore full-length At the Devil’s Left Hand is here, and it provides all the Satan, hellfire riffs, and Satan that your pathetic little ears can handle. Did I mention Satan? Strap in because these Aussies are here to prove that when you’re lustin’ for blood, a warm can of Fosters just won’t cut it.

Initially, Bloodlust don’t seem to step too far outside the black-thrash pentagram. Snarling rasps are underlaid by crunchy thrash riffs, demonic melodies flare up amidst searing tremolos, and throttling drums rattle beneath everything, turning tempos on a dime and bashing with the fury of Satan’s hammer. The band even claim inspiration from classic acts like Bathory and Venom. Yet in reality, Bloodlust‘s sound is more complex than first glance indicates. Proper opener “At the Devil’s Left Hand” shows this from the start, kicking off with a winding Destruktor melody that soon accelerates into a hailstorm of flurrying notes and a frantic chorus whose underlying riff sounds like a speed metal progression played four times fast. Embellished with a stomping bridge and a pre-chorus of deep clean shouts, “Hand” is a busy four minutes that feels fun, chaotic, and wild without ever becoming too overbearing.

And for the remainder of these 39 minutes, Bloodlust largely maintain this rowdy enthusiasm. With a style pulling just as much from contemporary black-thrash as classic heavy metal, it’s soon clear guitarist Spectre1 is the real star of this show. Highlight “Death the Conqueror” rides on a slow gallop that sounds like Steve Harris gone black metal, before pulling another Maiden trick by flourishing the chorus with a jumpy melody right out of the Seventh Son playbook. Early standout “Witchfyre” cruises on a slick verse that recalls modern Kreator, while “Freak of the Night” moves from an intro of harmonized leads into a mounting progression that consists of a rollicking rhythm and chords that drip with early Venom. Even the solos of lead guitarist ‘The General’ are noteworthy. “Freak” in particular features some soaring, shredding leads that will have you picturing yourself raising your fists on a cliff’s edge while fiery meteors careen overhead and demonic concubines swoon below.

Bloodlust - At the Devil's Left Hand 02

The thing that really sets Hand apart, however, is that it feels truly alive. Before pounding verses begin, chords are bashed just a measure or two longer than you’d expect. Riffs sometimes twist themselves into a different form than their initial notes suggest, ending on chords that ring with a grand chromaticism. In sections that don’t call for scathing rasps, clean shouts or deep growls are crammed in. While it’s true nothing here strays too far from bands like Nocturnal or Nifelheim, Bloodlust‘s genuine excitement and devilish inspiration ultimately imbues the album with a sense of rousing originality.

That doesn’t mean Hand is perfect, however. While the production is suitably powerful, it’s also just a tad muddy for how crazy these songs get. Tracks like “Deadly Force” and aforementioned “Freak” also feature choruses that are a little too obvious with their blunt use of the song titles. And though none of these nine tracks are throwaway, “Black Hymn to Death” is noticeably less memorable and cohesive than the other cuts.

Still, the fact remains that Bloodlust have ultimately produced the strongest blackened thrash album this year so far. The final proof comes in closer “Shadows of the Black Sun,” which abruptly cuts off its medieval Desaster melody and slicing riffs with a spoken word sample about field theory and occult Nazi research before the guitars explode back in for a triumphant march to the finish. It all leads to one message: Hand doesn’t just welcome you to hell, it throws open the door, yanks you inside, and tosses you enough whiskey and cocaine to knock the Devil himself on his ass. If you ever wondered what a more extreme Venom or a more polished Syphilitic Vaginas would sound like, look no further. I’ll even forgive the missed opportunity for a double umlaut.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Caverna Abismal Records
Websites: bloodlust666.bandcamp.com | infernalbloodlust.com | facebook.com/bloodlust666
Releases Worldwide: August 24th, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1.  At least I assume he’s the guy behind these riffs — the other guitarist is only credited for leads while Spectre is listed as the “Invoker of Unholy Satanic Rites and Commander of Hellstorms and Infernal Blasphemy.”
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  • Malhorne

    “Invoker of Unholy Satanic Rites and Commander of Hellstorms and Infernal Blasphemy.”

    It doesn’t get much better than this.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Hey, it’s a new Inquisition single!

      • Malhorne

        That is soooooo accurate

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I love Inquisition, but I think it’d be neat if they played with people’s minds on their next release and used one word for the title of each track.

          • Malhorne

            Blasphemy!

      • Eli Valcik

        That actually made me check their bandcamp page

  • The Akerstache

    A 4.0 with Destroyer 666 name drops?

    WANT

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    There’s a band named Syphilitic Vaginas? They were formed in 2005 and only NOW do I hear about them?

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      I PLAYED WITH THEM WHEN I WAS IN THE MERCHANT MARINE WAIT WHUT

      • sir_c

        We’re talking about the band, not the escorts you left for dead in the dumpsters

        • Master of Muppets

          You just call them hookers when they’re dead.

          • sir_c

            Dead girls don’t say no

    • sir_c

      indeed, they sound pretty cool what I heard so far.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    The Sarcofago tribute on the logo is a nice touch.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    THIS QUICKENS MY WITHERED BOUGH MAKING IT GREEN AGAIN

  • Wes Allen

    I’d wager to say they missed a triple umlaut opportunity. Can there be töö many umlauts?

  • Eli Valcik

    Hey there beautiful

  • John Mosley

    Sign me up. I need this.

  • Milovandammmmmagebitch

    Hello snowflakes, you are indeed pathetic with your one version of the truth Nazi bullshit. Can’t handle the truth…..lol

  • ToddRob64

    Good to see a local band getting a 4.0 on here other than Voyager.
    Also we don’t drink Fosters, nor do we throw another shrimp on the BBQ

    • Here’s Johnny

      Yeah just send that shit Fosters over here.

  • Apple Tree

    so, off topic music talk time. i was trying to find a selection of good djent songs (ended up with a shit ton of tesseract and animals as leaders), and crossed paths with periphery. i went into their albums with absolutely zero expectations, and their were a couple of actually quite decent songs. THEN I FOUND LUCK AS A CONSTANT. Holy shit, that song is so good. i actually stopped listening to atheist for a couple minutes (something that has never happened before) and listened to it on repeat a ton of times. everyone here needs to go listen to that song. its amazing
    Edit: please reassure me in that its actually a good song and im not just turning into a djent fan

    • The Grand Galactic Inquisitor

      You’ll be hard pressed to find any support for Periphery in these parts. As their discography goes, it’s all downhill after Periphery 1 and even that’s questionable. If djent is a developing taste for you, I’d steer you toward Uneven Structure, Vildhjarta, and Caligula’s Horse.

  • WhamBamSam

    “The strongest blackened thrash album this year so far” is a bold statement what with Hellripper’s Coagulating Darkness existing, but what else should a black thrash review be but bold? I suppose I’m obligated to give this a listen.

    • The Grand Galactic Inquisitor

      I must agree. Hellripper was new on my radar but it’s the better listen. That’s not to say this is at all bad though.

  • Great review! Great stuff! AMG returns to its form again. Always be Kvlt haha…

  • Zrinko Maloseja

    This sounds great. But CD and tape? Does anyone buy tape?

    • Name’s Dalton

      Oh it’s all the rage these days.

    • drug_genosh

      I would agree with this sentiment until I got my 98 explorer, now its all I listen to. Plus, id rather pay $10 for a rare tape than $100 for vinyl-cant beat that price point!

      • chatham

        Yes! I just now ordered this tape b/c my 2004 truck has a tape deck, and this feels like driving music.

  • Gage

    I like it… but I dont hear a 4/5

  • lennymccall

    Wow members of Impiety, The Furor? I’m all about this!

  • Tofu muncher

    The embedded track’s intro just sucked me right in, whoa.

  • MITCH TRVBISKY

    Hook this Austailian blackened thrash up to my veins!