Review Summary: Though repetitive, Bonded by Blood takes a melting pot of different thrash influences and ideas, and makes it their own. Worthwhile but definitely room for improvement.
It's safe to say that thrash metal is back after a lenghty dormant period, but most of the memorable material is still being pumped out by the bands that existed before
the revival. Exodus, Overkill, Megadeth, and Slayer are going strong to this day, while newer acts like Municipal Waste and Violator don't really bring anything new or interesting to the table. Enter Bonded by Blood, a newly formed thrash band from southern California in a largely Mexican-American town that brings a surprising amount of talent, fun, and fresh air to the genre (despite their derivativeness, more on that in a bit).
Here are the things that Feed The Beast doesn't
do. It doesn't change up the tempo often, usually barreling along at the same Reign in Blood type speed. That's not to say it is another Reign in Blood, in quality or style, as Feed The Beast isn't nearly as dark and bleak (or intense) as Slayer's mid-1980's juggernaut. The album also won't give you an awful lot in the way of social commentary or intelligent lyrics (for ***'s sake, a metalized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme is a bonus track). Most of the lyrics are the just the generic 'let's mosh' or 'you will die' thing.
Everyone in the band is perfectly competent at their respective instruments, but nothing stands out in particular. The riffs, solos, drums... they're solid, nothing more. Vocalist Jose Barrales doesn't scream, growl, or use overly harsh vocals, save for certain instances, like the excellent opener Immortal Life. Most of the time he sticks with a fairly clean approach, no doubt to help the old school vibe. It actually works quite well. Lastly, it just doesn't bring very many new ideas to the table. Sure, the record is undeniably fun and proves that these guys have a boatload of potential, but simply regurgitating a bunch of 80's ideas and molding them together doesn't make an excellent thrash disc.
Bonded by Blood has a bevy of musical influences from inside the thrash genre, and they all show up at multiple times throughout the album. Kreator, Slayer, Overkill, and obviously Exodus are bands that come to mind while listening. But instead of merely releasing a disc that sounds like a bunch of stuff by different bands that's already done, the band takes all these influences and ideas and manage to create a final product that is definitely their own. Feed the Beast suffers from repetitiveness and occasional monotony, but it's a solid start that showcases the band's impressive raw ability to serve up some impressive thrash.
Feed The Beast