Album Reviews, Artists / Bands, Metal / Hard Rock — August 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Bonded by Blood – The Aftermath


Artist Name: Bonded by Blood • Title Name: The Aftermath • Label: Earache


Approximately 30 years ago, Californian metal musicians started a new revolution by combining the classical scales and heavy riffs of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with the aggressive rawness and hallucinating speed of hard-core punk. Baptized as thrash metal, this new movement brought to life not only industry giants such as Metallica and Slayer, but also riff masters, cult-evoking bands such as Exodus.

The genre knowingly lost steam in the 90s – many acts disbanding, others morphing into the newer metal trends or even steering away from metal altogether. Well, the past 10 years saw thrash going back to the style origins, movement lead once again by chaps hailing from the sunny shores of California, but also once again spreading worldwide. Bonded by Blood is one of the most prominent acts of this revival, reaching now their third full-length, all guns blazing. Named after Exodus mid-80s ground-breaking, seminal release of the same name, the band – that is now reduced to a four piece, with Juan Juarez fulfilling all the six-string duties – introduces here their new singer Mauro Gonzales in a studio recording for the first time.

The Aftermath picks up where Exiled to Earth left and dares to take things further. It is a merciless assault of razor-sharp riffs, neck-breaking tempo changes, daunting guitar solos, and raw and aggressive vocals that would make Paul Baloff (R.I.P.) very proud. The whole album sounds unison, with two-thumbs up production values and not a single dull moment. “I Can’t Hear You” starts with a short intro and then straight into catchy riffs and head banging rhythms, while “Shepherds of Rot” pays tribute to the past with a Megadeth-style symphony of guitar textures. The album follows the trend of these two first songs and seems to have more bottom end towards the end, with “Among the Vultures” following a more groovy, 90s style pace, and then dives into full blown speed metal rip.

While the whole recording – and the whole band’s career, for that matter – is dressed with the 80s line of metal-wear, they seemingly have visited the 90s metal shop too – fact proven by the closing bonus track, a cover version of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name”. Best of both worlds I should say.

Metal heads out there, old school thrash metal is back and Bonded by Blood has proven once again to be at the helm of the revival’s ship.



Bonded By Blood (Exodus Cover) by Bonded By Blood





The Aftermath is on iTunes Singapore