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Bloody Sign
Explosion of Elements

Company: Ibex Moon Records
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Death
Rating
3.5



  • Sets an attractive course for a 'new' school of French death metal



  • With so many death metal groups today going for either the hyper-streamlined or ultra-old school style, this business of extremes has become rather static. Metal has long been a paragon of extremity in music--and is expected to be--but the pursuit of extremity is rendered pointless by inevitable habituation. Audiences are so attuned to atonality (ironically), supreme technicality, or overwhelming pathos that each alone now fails to impress. France's Bloody Sign, whether they know it or not, are out to combat this sterility on their sophomore release, 'Explosion of Elements'.

    Coming more than a decade after the band's inception, this album is arguably a little less 'explosive' than their debut, 'Vana Vigala Lots', but it retains many of the same qualities: ragged vocals (now a little higher-pitched), clever melodic structures, and a fine rhythmic balance between chaos and order. As on the debut, Bloody Sign juggle these traits admirably and in doing so strike quite a blow against sterile modernity. Since it draws from such disparate quarters to keep the audience constantly off-balance, this album bears little resemblance to the stereotypical French scene today, but it does benefit from the country's inexplicable knack for songwriting. From beginning to end, Bloody Sign remain uncommonly engaging, even throughout the 15 minutes spanned by 'Creation's Trilogy', with agile drumming and sinuous riffs. 'Explosion...' is constantly reinvigorating itself and the audience along with it as each track explores new technical quirks, modalities, and genre influences.

    Although Bloody Sign wouldn't be mistaken for anything other than a death metal band, 'Explosion...' owes most of its success (and high playback value) to the band's willingness to experiment with different styles. Some songs feature the cold, industrial grind of Immolation, paradoxically droning and amorphous at once. Others employ angular hooks and have the fair-weather relationship with tonality so favored by the Russian scene. For example: the disarmingly quirky 'Apocalyptic Warriors' blends crossover, vintage Swedish groove, dive-bombing solos, and an oddly nationalistic march section, yet is still highly listenable and even memorable as a whole.

    And that is Bloody Sign's saving grace. Genre mish-mashing alone is no commendable trait, no matter how compelling each fragment may be; only commendable is the ability to string them together in a contiguous whole, with each new turn improving the last. In this, Bloody Sign were entirely successful, and on 'Explosion of Elements' set an attractive course for a 'new' school of French death metal.


    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: BLOODY SIGN
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Explosion of ElementsBloody Sign
    2007
    Etiam8/8/2008
    Vana Vigala LoitsBloody Sign
    2004
    Kazimierez2/9/2005


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: BLOODY SIGN

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