Bludgeon - World Controlled - 2006 - Magic Circle Music
1. Carnage Begins 2. Refuse The True 3. Unholy Murder 4. Hunt Or Be Hunted 5. Awakening 6. Out Of Reach 7. Infidel 8. Bitter Emptiness 9. World Controlled 10. Consumed 11. Save Your Servant 12. Enhanced Video Section
I meet a friend of mine every few weeks for lunch. At some point during our meetings my friend will look at me and ask, "Whatever happened to that band Bludgeon?". He is the only Bludgeon fan I know of. I will admit that he has played for me, more times that I care to remember, the band's debut album "Crucify The Priest"...and I liked it. Their brand of heavy, brutal, death thrash was in the same sort of vein as Altar and a more groovy Sinister. The production was amazing, courtesy of Manowar mainman Joey Demaio, and in 2002, during the band's release, I read a lot of critical praises for the band and the debut.
That was 2002.
Where has this Chicago band been since? Well that answer isn't really clear. The only thing I can tell you is that it is now 2006 and Bludgeon has finally released their sophomore effort in "World Controlled". Once again Joey Demaio takes over the production duties and this is once again on Magic Circle Music and distributed by SPV. This is really a new direction for the band, with most of the material found here really attached to today's 'core scene more so than the group's firm relationship with the cutting edge death acts of four years ago. This time around the band also has a slightly different line-up. This version of Bludgeon features Mark Duca (vox/guitar), Ryan Blazek (drums), Carlos Alvarez (guitar), and Chris Studtmann (bass).
"World Controlled" is much more of a hardcore effort than the previous vision. This new release has more in common with the likes of Fear Factory, Hatebreed, Diecast, and even Sworn Enemy. Tracks like "Unholy Murder" and "Hunt Or Be Hunted" are tight, precise runs through battered streets and broke down buildings, each built on thick stomp riffs and a hip-hop hardcore vocal style. The production is fantastic, and for all intents and purposes this would have been a stellar record....a year ago. 2006 just has far too many bands of this style and effort, with bands like Cataract going MILES beyond this sub-par effort. I'll stick to Hatesphere, Decapitated, and Vader for my aggressive reaches. Bludgeon...well time has just passed them by.
Note - The band has a very well maintained website. Love the layout and graphics! Also of note, the tracklisting on the back of the CD is out of order. Man, I hate that.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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