Blood Has Been Shed



by asaf USER (13 Reviews)
March 11th, 2010 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Allie Foster, whaaaa???

With the recent allegations of frontman Howard Jones getting caught up in twitter debacles, I only thought it to be appropriate to pay tribute to one of my personal favorite albums and extreme metal ensembles that is “Spirals.” Certainly, this is probably an ode to one of several top shelf acts found on the Ferret roster, and a tribute to the fact that we will probably never get another BHBS release in this or the following decade. It’s a shame that it took something as petty as this social dilemma to get me to pull this review together, seeing as how I always considered the album to be a cornerstone in destructive collaborations between hardcore heavyweights.

The line up on this release is worthy to mention, seeing as how Red Tide (and more recently KSE) drummer Justin Foley lays down the law with his thundering blasts and polyrhythmic combinations. Certainly, this album finds Foley in less contemporary battle grounds, as his approach to the skins is not as cut and dry as it is on his more recent releases. This certainly adds a certain zing to his introduction of the album, as well as the groove oriented “Greetings From The Gallows” that absolutely dismantles any deathcore acts attempt to simplify a doom infested beat. The production on the snare and bass drum are exceptional, and it’s safe to say that this is one of the more digestible albums produced by Zeuss that doesn’t make the listener want to throw the disc out of the window due to the autotune being applied to each individual tom.

The guitars on “Spirals” are simply gut rotting vibrations that continuously maneuver on the lower half of the fret board and rely heavily on the deep end G tuning that is present throughout the majority of the disc. There is no mathematic noodling, senseless dweedle dweedle’s, melody or organized formations of riffs and structure. Instead, what is present is a combination of tweeks and nudges that bring back to mind Meshuggah’s “Chaosphere” era. “The House of Fists” presents a good example of the jargon that makes this album such a treat, and the chemistry between all the members of the group solidifies to a concrete mass on the final bridge of this 1:11 minute gem.

As for Howard, it’s a shame that he has spent so much time with his recent project and straying from the path that has brought him so much success. This album finds him in different character, as the melodies and choruses that are found on the KSE releases are evident on about a track and a half (“Uatu,” and the chaotic conclusion that is “Cortisone”) and even here they lack direction, steam or any relevance to the rest of the album as a whole. Howard’s ability to properly place syllables and proper pronunciations of beautifully constructed verbiage and dialect are a strong affirmation of his role as a frontman. The bridge in “Beginners Luck” has one of my favorite contributions to his poetic catalogue (that’s right); “reaching, choking, gasping, for unbreathable air.” In this particular part of the track, Jones depicts a human being left for dead, being buried alive and attempting to pull through the ground and out of the casket into the steaming Earth to gain revenge. For what, you ask? Why, love of course! Deception is the key theme of this entire album, and it seems as if the heartbroken Howard no longer needs the dwelling that has been dominating the BHBS catalogue since their debut album was released late in 1999.

Make a point to reach back for this album and let it play through. Even if you’ve been rocking out “Plastic Beach” since it leaked a few weeks ago this should still feel like a solid album for a chemically bound group that leaves the listener recognizing that there is something unique about this specific release. Don’t go hopping back to Novella-era BHBS expecting the same type of output, as the performance there is rather sloppy and the production is nowhere near as crisp as what’s found here. On a side note, KSE has found a comfortable niche in a saturated scene and is not able to make anywhere near as big of an impact as BHBS managed to in their short, yet powerful career.

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user ratings (56)

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 11th 2010


hopefully this sounds nothing like the red shore, btw, the album art annoys me how it seems to be greyed out or something.

good review btw, will pos and all that.

March 11th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

This is an oddly written review.

March 11th 2010


The guitars on “Spirals” are simply gut rotting vibrations that continuously maneuver on the lower half of the fret board and rely heavily on the deep end G tuning that is present throughout the majority of the disc

i'm guessing someone's a musician. lol

March 11th 2010


I remember listening to this a long time ago. I guess I should give it another listen

March 11th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

"deep end G tuning that is present throughout the majority of the disc"

right.... good call. that may be a bit much.

March 12th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

I used to love this record, but all the energy and grit just seemed to kinda.....wear off? It doesn't impact me the same as it did.

March 12th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album, haven't listened to it in a loooong time though

March 12th 2010


most albums that hit be right away don't stay fun for more than 6 months at the best.

albums that require a good couple listens to understand keep me coming back for more.

March 12th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

i dont see what's not to like here... I mean, if you're into metallic hardcore AT ALL this should be a spoltight in your catalogue, imo.

May 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

"I used to like "She Speaks To Me", but the last time I listened to it, it seemed too generic. It's the only song I have heard from the band."

honestly, listen to more off this album. "She Speaks To Me" is probably the weakest song it has to offer. i am overall VERY impressed with this. especially in howard jones' vocals. FAR better than anything he's done with killswitch.

May 4th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

i mean house of fists anyone? in and out under 2 minutes and it smokes...

November 28th 2010


Listening to this the first time right now and it´s pretty fucking heavy.^^
Awesome to hear Howard sceaming his fucking ass off and not hearing him sing like a fucking whiny pussy like on the new KSE release...

March 12th 2013


Good review, Pos for you.

November 13th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good band, unique sound, and underrated af. Howie should've gone back with these guys instead of that Devil You Know tripe.

Digging: Blood Has Been Shed - Spirals

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