Review : Bonded by Blood - Exiled to Earth
PopmattersThere have been many waves of thrash metal in the course of the past three decades. The whole scene started in the early ‘80s with the Big Four—Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax—and the numerous American and German thrash bands that followed them. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, as thrash started to fade, the second wave began, with less-prominent American thrash bands and German bands attempting to keep the scene alive while the Big Four stagnated or lost relevance. In the late ‘90s, a new wave of thrash bands from Europe, led by the Haunted and Darkane, took on the mantle of thrash revivalists, helping to bring the scene back.
Now, in the last five years, a whole new group of young American thrash bands have attempted to bring back the old-school thrash style of the ‘80s with their fast, technical play and raw production. Bonded by Blood is one of the bands in this fourth wave of thrash, and its debut Feed the Beast showed a lot of promise. The band’s sophomore effort, Exiled to Earth, upholds the high standard Bonded by Blood set for itself and even sees the group surpass it in some ways.
Exiled to Earth is unique in that it’s a concept album, which is incredibly rare to see in thrash. The album tells the story of an alien race known as the Crong, who come to Earth intent on conquest. A group of warriors must fight back against the Crong to regain control of the planet and save the human race. Almost none of the veteran thrash bands ever attempted to create a concept album, so seeing one of the young bands do that shows a lot of maturity and inventiveness. The concept only exists in the lyrics, so it doesn’t distract from the music in any way. However, it also makes the lyrics even more interesting to read and memorize, for those who enjoy doing such things...full text
HeavymetalA more mature effort from the young thrash band.
Great lead guitar work on "Desolate Future" and the title track.
An understated concept that ties the whole album together.
A few questionable tracks near the end, including the bland closer "Cross-Insemination."
Released August 10, 2010 on Earache Records.
Bonded By Blood’s second album.
Concept album involving the fight to regain control of Earth from aliens.
Guide Review - Bonded By Blood - 'Exiled To Earth'
Bonded by Blood puts on their serious faces for sophomore album Exiled To Earth. A concept album detailing the battle between humans and aliens for ultimate control of Earth, Exiled To Earth is a mature effort from the young California thrash band. There are no tongue-in-cheek reworkings of classic cartoon theme songs; instead, the main theme is senseless destruction and the struggle to reclaim freedom. Taking cues from Evile and Warbringer, Bonded by Blood uses their second album to show that the band has more to offer than cheesy evil lyrics and over-done whammy-bar solos.
It’s been two years since Feed The Beast introduced the world to Bonded by Blood. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot has changed. Other than a new bassist, the lineup is the same. The vocals are still distinct gruff shouts and the guitars remain stuck in a style of playing made popular by noteworthy thrash acts Exodus and Slayer. Vicious cuts like the title track and “Prison Planet” could have been B-sides from the band’s debut album.
Where Exiled To Earth shines is with the fleshed-out compositions. While Feed The Beast had a few lengthy tracks, none of them hold a candle to the progression found on opener “600 A.B. (After the Bomb)” and “Prototype: Death Machine.” The melodic flex of modern thrash blends with the sweat-fueled antics of the 80’s scene in these two gems. The songs come off as accomplished works bolstered by the experience gained from years of endless touring....full text
RocksoundBBB attempt to join the ranks of label mates Evile and Municipal Waste with their sophomore effort, this latest bludgeon-fest pulling you back in time to the epicentre of pure thrash, although it’s debatable as to whether you’d be kicking and screaming throughout their efforts. There’s no doubting they have some choice riffs, but Jose Barrales’ vocals are dubiously harsh on the ears (and not in a good way) and he’s bafflingly high in the mix here, leaving the impression his bandmates are playing in the shed while he’s outside accosting the microphone right next to the mixing desk; to variable, unplanned comedic results....full text
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