Blood Rainbow – Smelteries of Damnation 2005 – 84%

Blood Rainbow? What the hell is a Blood Rainbow? A rainbow in 7 shades of red? A normal colored rainbow that spouts blood? Either way, Dio would be proud!

I’ll admit, this is one of the first Hungarian albums I’ve ever heard. It’s pretty damn impressive though! This album is definitely above average as far as technicality goes, but it’s not quite what I’d call technical death metal. Smelteries of Damnation is an album that focuses on melody, with brutality in the back seat. Both are wonderfully displayed in a tasteful style, however. The aptly titled instrumental opener Icebreaker gives you a 3 minute rundown of everything you can expect to get from this album, which is rather modern death metal. Some of the tremolo riffs recall later era Deicide, while others hint at what Gorod would expand upon in years following.

Death-Grind Renaissance starts off with a very thumpy and pounding bass intro, before the song winds up blasting at full speed. The thick chunky bass provides a welcome contrast from the soaring melodic solos and leads, and fortunately is audible 100% of the time. Speaking of melodic solos and leads, holy fucking vroom Batman! Family In Coma starts off with one of the highlights of the melodic guitar parts. It sort of seems like that intro solo was solely created for being in the center of a song. It has a certain progression that seems to hint that there should have been something leading up to it. Either way, it fucking rules. The solos are easily the greatest aspect of the album here. These Hungarian dudes can really shred, and they do it constantly (it doesn’t have to sound like Necrophagist, people…).

The vocals range from a very deep guttural growl, to a less menacing and much more throaty shout, to a shouted type of “singing”. The throaty shout is another aspect not all that far removed from Gorod. However, there’s a problem. The vocals really give off this bored, tired, and monotonous vibe. Considering this band’s lyrics are about ancient times and things of that ilk, this would be much more interesting if the lyrics could be understood. Sadly, it’s just an undecipherable growl spouting above the music.

When compared to their peers, the guitars are really the only thing doing anything different from the rest of the pack. The drums, much like the vocals, are no exception. At times they’ll throw in some progressive beats, but to someone wanting a more straight forward approach, the drums can appear to have a lot of insignificant beats. I myself am a fan of progressive sounding drums sometimes, but a lot of the drumming on this album is just boring and too progressive for my taste really.

Talk about an ambitious and monstrous album! It’s too bad these guys are currently in limbo, because I could see a followup to this being an absolute devastator. If you enjoy Gorod, this one’s a no-brainer. Don’t be thrown off by the band’s somewhat juvenile name. If you are, these guys will blow by you, and never look back. That’s purely the style they’ve established here. If you listen, great! If you don’t, we’ll meet you at the finish line.

Highlights: Icebreaker, Death-Grind Renassiance, Family In Coma, Blood Rainbow

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