Metalcore is still around, and in tremendously high volume these days. As Blood Runs Black is a post-hardcore band preferring to slant their sound toward melodic death instead of the by-the-numbers metalcore that we hear so much, a genre that has been flooded to the point of overflowing indifference by many old-school listeners.
But, as they say, out with the old listeners and in with the new-schoolers who simply cannot get enough of major label and headlining bands such as As I lay Dying, Unearth, God Forbid, and of course, Shadow's Fall. All these bands can be used to describe ABRB's sound, thick with power chords, chugging transitions, and guitar structures that have no problem using higher, more melodic tones that attempt to create a flow to the music, especially through all the hardcore breakdowns. Successful metalcore depends on that, and in this humble metalhead's opinion, ABRB does so, and without the clean vocals!
As much I have been one of the indifferent ones, I still flip the discs in and give them a chance to knock me upside the head, which is what happened with this particular release. The inevitable guitar intro, used appropriately in this case, supplies the atmospheric tempo that pays off beautifully with the fantastic opening track, "In Dying Days," surely the tune on which to hang one's hope for pancake sales and tour invites. Played at near-thrash speeds, this is the type of music that induces near-riot activities in the pit, punters gleefully surfing the ebbs and flows of the mighty mass of fellow sweat hogs.
The followups do not disappoint. "My Fears Have Become Phobias", and "Hester Prynne" thankfully do not pull a bait and switch by enticing you in with a great tune only to grow a gigantic pussy, and go all emo on you after that — oh no, these tunes are just as great. The latter probably dives off the stage as my favorite, considering that it's the closest to true melodic death on the album. In fact, the opening trifecta is about as good as this genre gets, and is a powerful and confident way to introduce yourself to the world as well, a theme that is momentarily put on hold with a guitar instrumental that while interesting, serves only as an intermission. A physical break as well as a symbolic break, as the songs tend to wind down, inverts toward ordinary after that, with tempo changes that don't always work, but are full of life nevertheless. The final two tracks, "Beneath The Surface" and "Legends Never Die," cap off the album well, however, putting the finishing touches on a suprisingly interesting band.
RATING: 8/10 – Definitely worthy of your money, not only for the disc, but try and get out to see them live, as they are on tour right now. Although I have not seen them in concert, one listen through this album makes it apparent that to fully appreciate the hunger and the energy of this band is to see them in their own habitat. Which is something that is always better than you think, even if you have seen a hundred concerts, nothing beats the rush you feel when the lights go down, the metal musak drifts away and the bands you listened to and heard all about, one by one, hit that stage in a cloud of smoke and thunder. This band appears to be that type of band that is worth the wait.Powered by Sidelines