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Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Blood- The Reaper Behind Me


ARTIST: Blood

ALBUM: The Reaper Behind Me

LABEL: Darkest Labyrinth

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 10-5-08

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With their latest album, Japan's Blood aim to move away from the visual kei influences of their early career in favor of a more purely gothic/industrial direction. This is a bigger shift in theory than in practice. It's true, Austrian darkwave singer Emilie Autumn shows up to sing "Fountain of Blood," and a new recording of the band's namesake song "Blood" moves things in a more gothic direction with guitar work faintly reminiscent of The Mission's Wayne Hussey and female guest vocals by Aural Vampire's Exo Chiko, but there's still plenty of the metal-meets-classical bombast of earlier Blood releases in evidence here, with lots of epic guitar shredding and bursts of synthesized strings and harpsichord. The real crossover appeal comes from the bonus remix CD, which features contributions from a number of popular and up-and-coming bands. Most dramatically altered is Siva Six's "Hell Burnt Over Necropolis Mix" of "Crimson," delivered in their signature evil terror EBM style of pounding electronic beats and frightful whispered vocal processing, while The Last Dance's "More Sake Mix" of "Blood" is just what you'd expect from the popular California act, with dramatically wailing guitars, brooding bass, and just a hint of theatrical melancholy. Several bands from Blood guitarist and founder Kiwamu's own label, Darkest Labyrinth, also contribute; Spectrum-X, on whose own recent album Kiwamu performs, offers a crunchy industrial metal mix of "Chain," and GPKISM's GPK offers a frantic techno mix of the same track. Taking things in a more melodic pop-tinged direction, Greek act Blue Birds Refuse to Fly contribute yet another mix of "Chain," this time incorporating warm synthesizers and progressive trance leads. It's a surprisingly diverse collection, and hopefully it heralds even better things to come, not only from Blood themselves but also from the other promising acts that fly under the Darkest Labyrinth banner.

Visit www.curecreate.com for more information on Blood and the Darkest Labyrinth label.


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