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Blood Haven
Religious Suffocation

Company: Blood Haven Music
Release: 2005
Reviewer: Grim Gaijin
Genre: Black

  • Fans of brutal black metal will be pleased with this CD



  • On Blood Haven's MySpace page, their self-descriptive moniker is "Unholy Blackened Thrash". Now, that is a saying that I have not heard since I used to listen to Thornspawn - which in my opinion is probably the best Blackened Thrash Metal band to come from the United States. Although Blood Haven couldn't hold a candle to the metal attack of Thornspawn, they are definitely a good "unholy blackened thrash" band. Their debut album, Religious Suffocation, is filled with hateful religious influenced anthems of brutal black metal.

    The opening track, Hellfire, wastes no time in spewing the noise that spans the entire disk. With grim black metal riffs, the occasional thrash moments and bombastic double bass drumming, influences of early Marduk surface. The vocals are reminiscent of early Legion vocals, although they sound muddier in the mix that probably should be. The next song, N.C. 2020, begins at a thrash pace then turns into an Iron Maiden riff-fest, ultimately reverting back to the blackened thrash attack. The third song, Love To See Her Dead, starts with a horror sample that could be used on a Mortician song. However, the great thrash melodies take over and dominate the song. Shards Of Crystal is a relentless track from beginning to end and Colors Of Human Evolution show a slower, thrasher side of Blood Haven. This song has some great double bass and the vocal patterns really stand out as well. The sixth song, Dead Asleep, is another thrash anthem, but the vocals leave something to be desired here. It seems as if Dulworth (the vocalist/guitarist) is straining to hard to sound evil, but it ends up sounding like a horrible Mille (of Kreator) impression. The next song, Dwelling In Evil Revelations has almost the exact time signature as the previous song in spots, making them seem like run-on songs with different chorus parts. Fortunately, the vocals are a bit clearer in this song. Next comes Into The Arms Of Satan. This song puts Blood Haven back on track with the blackened thrash destructiveness as present at the beginning of the album. The final song, Blue Prints Of Armageddon, is extremely aggressive and leans more toward melodic black metal than thrash. That is not a bad thing though, as this seven and a half minute long song is probably the best track on the entire album.

    Blood Haven is a good band, although not near the caliber of some of the bands that they have toured with in the past. However, if they keep churning out the destructive riffs, killer drumming, and rethink their vocal strategy, they will definitely turn some heads for the years to come. Religious Suffocation is a good album and fans of brutal black metal will be pleased with this CD.


    About this Writer:
    David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BLOOD HAVEN
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Religious SuffocationBlood Haven
    2005
    David Loveless10/17/2008


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