Bloodsimple is a metal band from New York City that formed in 2002. They have released 2 full lengths so far, A Cruel World as their debut and Red Harvest as the follow-up. On A Cruel World ,Bloodsimple had a very distinctive metalcore sound that was mixed with hard rock and was pretty heavy most of the time. The album had some aggressive riffs, but it suffered from the fact that it had no solos and the bass was quite inaudible. But in this, Bloodsimple's sophomore release, they are moving towards an alternative metal sound. It is very hard to generalize this album as a whole, but if one really wants to, then it's best called alternative metal or just hard rock influenced metalcore.
The small musical change that Bloodsimple had taken is heard right away in the first track called "Ride With Me". The song starts with a chill guitar picking which is followed by some smooth talking by the singer Tim Williams. After the long intro the song finally enters the main part and then reaches the somewhat dreamy chorus. It is seen right away in the first song that the band has taken a much more calculated approach on this album. The songs are divided into two: the aggressive ones and the calmer ones that try to bring out the lyrics. The band's sound in here is much more grown-up and mature. And that's the story of the whole album, Bloodsimple has grown-up while remaining heavy at the same time. The weight of childish political lyrics has degraded, the political lyrics are still there, but they are much more clever and smarter, the riffs are much more calculated and are executed more professionally, the bass has become more audible, but it still has a lot of room to grow and the drumming is as good as it was in Bloodsimple's debut, where it was one of the highlights of the album. The vocals of Tim Williams have remained the same. His screaming is very good, but his clean vocals can get a bit boring and even annoying at times. While he is a very fitting singer for a metalcore band, he should still work on his clean vocals a bit.
But the fact that this album is more calculated and grown-up then its predecessor was as a whole does not mean that it doesn't have any hard-hitting flat out aggressive mosh worthy songs. The third song titled "Dark Helmet" is a great example of the aggressive side of this album. It features a very good, well heard bassline which is sort of picked while sliding (if that makes any sense), the vocals provided by Tim Williams are very fierce and are sang/screamed with great speed, the drumming is simple but it is still a pleasure to listen to and the guitar riffs are also simple but effective. The best part of the song though is the very catchy chorus what features words like "The worlds will collide, a fire from the sky, The afterlife will await you...
", that are extremely catchy and really make the listener sing along. The other really aggressive songs in this album are called "Suck It Up", "Red Harvest", "Killing Time", " Death From Above" and "Numina Infuscata". The rest of the songs are calmer, featuring some slower guitar work, slower drumming, practically only clean vocals by Tim Williams and meaningful lyrics. While the lyrics in the aggressive songs focus on heating up the listener and concentrate on gaining and preserving the aggressive feel and mood what Bloodsimple is trying to give to the listeners, then in the slower, calmer songs the lyrics are focused on nothing else, than the good old politics and how the world has gone mad and stupid. The slower songs that are really great are titled "Out To Get You", "Truth" and the above mentioned "Ride With Me".
There is one song on this album though that takes ALL the good aspects in Bloodsimple's music and fuses them all together. That brilliant song is called "Dead Man Walking". It starts with a really cool, fast, high-pitched guitar riff. After the interesting start the song hits the main part which features a mix of the low sounding basslines and the high-pitched guitar riffs, all coated with the strong, angry vocals by Tim Williams. The chorus of the song is ridiculously catchy and the bridge features some simple but once again catchy guitarwork and drumming. After the bridge the song bursts into the powerful ending of the song where Tim Williams literally screams his lungs out. The lyrics in the song are simple, talking about a dead man pillaging the lands and killing people. So the lyrics are not very meaningful but are catchy as f***. All in all this song represents the best in Bloodsimple's music: catchy yet heavy riffs, good vocal performance, meaningless, but fun lyrics and some good drumming.
In general, this album is pretty much a gem in the mainly boring metalcore scene. It is not anything one hasn’t heard before but it proudly stands in the top of today’s metalcore scene. Bloodsimple's unique blend of metalcore and hard rock is very interesting to listen too and it promises the band big things for the future as well.