Bloodhunter
The End of Faith
(Xtreem Music)

The sophomore album from these Spaniards has a delightfully dated two-pronged sound. With gleefully thrashy melodeath on one end and neoclassically-inspired tech-death on the other, The End of Faith sounds like it came straight from 2007. Put simply, Bloodhunter sounds like the mid-point between the tech-death of Obscura and the hooky fury of mid-career Arch Enemy. The fact that vocalist Diva Satanica impressive, varied vocals can sound rhythmic and melodic no matter the timbre helps cement the Arch Enemy comparison. However, it takes all of maybe half of a song to recognize the real star of the show here: guitarist Fenris. His leads and solos often descend into wonderfully classical extended arrangements, yet Fenris is equally adept at the more familiar thrash “invisible oranges” style lick. His riffing is sneakily complex, in part because no matter how complex the music on The End of Faith gets, the emphasis always seems to be on creating powerful and melodic metal.

Fear not: there’s no clean singing or power metal shenanigans (not that there’s anything wrong with that) on here; instead, Bloodhunter have become melodic extreme metal masters, by writing songs that have that memorable “it” factor. The End of Faith is a wonderful reminder that melodic metal doesn’t have to compromise its integrity or complexity to feature razor-sharp hooks. It takes a few tracks to really get going (the second half is a tad stronger), but this Spanish band is really onto something special here. Bloodhunter are the real deal, and their retro-fitted melodic tech death is pure sonic joy for lovers of the hooky and extreme.

Purchase the album here.

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