Poison Blood - Poison BloodYou may not have thought it but Beherit brings people together, much like Christmas and accounts of drunken excess. A mutual affinity for the Finnish blackened barbarians drew Neill Jameson of Krieg and Jenks Miller of Horseback into collaborating on a new project called Poison Blood. Tales of the occult are spun through the medium of black metal but Miller, particularly, draws from a repertoire far beyond that which is typical for the genre. Relapse Records aren’t exactly the most underground label so I suspected there would be something unpredictable about Poison Blood to garner such label attention.

Poison Blood sets up in the black metal camp but its gnarled roots extend under boundary fences, drawing from punk’s dynamism and ’70s rock’s warmth. Tremolo–picked guitars and blast beats are indeed present but the result is a far cry from rural Norwegian winters. More accurate adjectives include bouncy, groovy and fun. The enthusiasm is palpable and faux organs are prevalent as blackened tools are used to forge something immensely lively and likable. In this way, it reminds me of Hail Spirit Noir.

Nonetheless, good stuff though this may be, it’s also incredibly fragmented. The EP is distinctly half-baked, even by EP standards, with snippets which could easily have been built into strong songs. Boredom is truly impossible given these brief snapshots only run for 19 minutes in total but I have a particular feeling that it could have been so much more. “Shelter Beneath the Sea” offers the most frenzied, cathartic explosion but it finishes after just 52 seconds which feels like wasted potential. And “From the Lash” has a different outro featuring the dense layering of noise and electronic effects which could have been built into more of a set–piece.

Poison Blood 2017

But I suppose Poison Blood is to be regarded as a taster for things to come. In that sense, it functions well as I find myself directing how particular tracks and moments would fit into a full-length. The opening two tracks would serve as the bouncier, groovier ’70s–influenced parts, while “A Cracked and Desolate Sky” and the other blackened tracks would heighten the record’s threat and aggression. The synth and distortion–dominated conclusion, “Circles of Salt,” would be a great interlude as a dark breather. In fact, the only throwaway is the strange and discordant dungeon synth track called “The Flower of Serpents.” I’m not quite sure why it’s here but I suppose it could be a sound integrated into a more normal track to interesting effect.

Perhaps my complaints can be boiled down to simply wanting more Poison Blood. The range of influences orbiting their blackened core make for something unexpected yet appealing and the fun vibes differentiate them from most other black metal written. I hope this project won’t fall by the wayside of Krieg and Horseback as it has real legs.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps MP3
Label: Relapse Records
Websites: poisonblood.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/poisonblood
Releases worldwide: August 11th, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle


    • Eldritch Elitist

      Why don’t you bold format your comments anymore, my man?

      • Brutalist_Receptacle


        • Eldritch Elitist

          That’s more like it!

        • [not a Dr]

          I was starting to get worried.

      • Reese Burns

        Upvotes for using the term “my man”

  • Eldritch Elitist

    No clue what’s going on in that cover art but it’s rad as fuuuuck. Song is good, too – almost reminds me of a sludgy, hard rock take on early Burzum.

    • Chigo

      Alien skull baby?

    • Master of Muppets

      On that note, anyone here heard of Kval? Raw atmospheric black metal, like Burzum had they survived the deaf heaven of modern day hipsters. Them and Cascades are among the best of the atmospheric best these days, and if ya don’t know how ya know.

  • Strapping Old Fart

    I don’t know what to make of that band photo. Some expert help, please? Especially regarding Dr. Krollspell to the right.

    • Master of Muppets

      We used to have a guy for that.

      • sir_c

        Indeed, we need some guidance with these two jet fighter pilots who just dropped off some cans of napalm

        • Master of Muppets

          I mean, I can help you with that. If they’re people, bomb ‘m, simple as that.
          Anything with more than four legs is wrong, always. Lemurs, chinchillas, don’t matter. Four legs good, two legs better!

  • Planex

    I love the cover art. Spider skull person with no hands contemplates life in front of space and grimdark renditions of Escher works?

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I thought you guys were doing a retrospective review of Poison’s “Flesh & Blood”.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Oh Metal, how deep have you dug!
    You might be even inclined to think Metal has dug TOO deep when the phrase “Relapse Records aren’t exactly the most underground label” is actually true. Some people even think of Nuclear Blast, Century Media and Relapse as if they were Sony Music.

    • Oh, but Century Media literally is Sony Music.
      (For the records: Century Media is actually a sub-label of Sony.)

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I had no clue!

      • GardensTale

        Upvote for the stealth pun.

  • Nukenado

    A bit slow for punk, but the influences are still there…
    And it sounds great! I would love to hear more of this band.

  • drug_genosh

    I got to listen to this a bunch of times on Friday and really enjoyed it. So much so that I went and bought it..I gotta stop doing that. And I love that dungeon synth! Really fun record. Sounds like the the most recent horseback working backwards.

  • Master of Muppets

    Here I sit, drunk and envious. I’d love to be responsible for Nostoc’s following, but this caliber of writing makes me question the whole endeavour. Seeing what you and your angry metal ilk can do with ~750 words, I can confidently assert that I am not worthy. I would kill to be part of this beast, but y’all are on your own levels. This type of review is exactly why I hold AMG above all others, and why I can’t take my own reviews seriously.

    Strong work, Señor C. I’ll be checking this out once my bank account allows such nonsense.

    • El_Cuervo

      You’re too kind. Really.

      • Master of Muppets

        Or just too drunk. Don’t know why I get all feelingsy every time, but it’s getting old. Oh, Allen’s…

        • El_Cuervo

          The drunk brings out the best and worst in us all. You’re a good writer too m8, I was shit at the beginning.

        • [not a Dr]

          That’s because you are still sober enough to get feelingsy. Do something about that.

    • Don’t feed the trolls but certainly don’t feed the ginormous egos of the AMG staff either. I have enough trouble oppressing them as it is!

  • herrschobel

    hmmm… i like this a lot less than i should … it seems a bit too lazy and tuned down…maybe in winter this will click.