I saw Bloodshot Dawn about month ago, if I remember rightly. The band was opening for Fleshgod Apocalypse, and certainly appeared out of left field, with a style much more melodic than that of many of the other supporting bands, which mostly took the brutal persuasion. I didn't have a clue what Bloodshot Dawn were going to sound like before I saw them, but it's definitely true to say that I was intrigued to the point of having a listen to their album. Which, incidentally, I've finally gotten around to.
What caught my attention in a meaningful way, that is, not including the contrast between them and the other acts, was the virtuosity of their lead-guitar. On the album, as live, the solos are frequent, and nimbly executed. The guitar tone is very "shimmering" and quite clean - certainly almost entirely free from fuzz and clutter which is usually unavoidable in metal of any great extremity. The solos are, on the whole, memorable and, while conventional, also quite distinct - there are certainly bands who solo in a similar fashion, but not many who solo with quite the aptitude. The excellent lead guitar doesn't, fortunately, distract from the rhythm. There's many a monster riff sitting around the album, with crunchy and energetic riffs abound. Definitely done in the "modern" style, with occasional groove-like sections, and those pinch-harmonics which turn up everywhere, but also importing influences from older death-metal and even thrash here and there. While the band's claim to be melodic death metal is accurate enough, there's certainly plenty of normal death-metal kicking about in the mixture as well, certainly pushing the band onto the heavy edge of melodeath.
Juxtaposed to being bone-crunching and riffy, the band also manage to produce quite an epic feel in places, especially when the lead guitar comes in, adding a strange but welcome element of beauty to the equation, with a bit of sparkle thrown in amongst the gritty, head-whirling riffs. The band go in some interesting directions on the album, with "Prototype", the tenth track, and "Archetype", the eleventh, really showcasing the lead-guitar work and epic-feel that the band can conjure on occasion, with the latter especially a great example of just how tight and technical the band seem to be able to be, and songs in such a vein would certainly be an interesting, and potentially very distinct style for the band to pursue in whatever they intend to release next. The album really is quite a powerful collection of material, and is a relatively filler-free onslaught which is impressively unrelenting and bursting with energy.
Bloodshot Dawn have a good chance of being successful, or so it seems to me. They've got the the correct formula, and they've got that certain spark that all good bands possess. The style they play may not be outlandish, quite the opposite - melodeath has been well-charted territory for years, but that doesn't matter; The band are taking an established genre, and damn, they're doing it well.
I'm going to give this 8/10.
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