Review Summary: Bonded by Blood can give you one hell of a headbanger's headache, but they still lack the originality that could make them different from all the other thrash bands in existence.
There are many new bands filling out the subgenre known as the “New Wave of Thrash Metal” (NWOTM), but the subgenre suffers from one fatal flaw: repetitiveness. I’ve been listening to thrash for about 2 years now, but nothing has really stood out to me in this new wave. All of these new bands lack that “old school” feel. However, that’s just my opinion. Why am I sharing this opinion? Because Bonded by Blood have (so far) been a very accurate representation of what I mean.
I first encountered Bonded by Blood (BbB) as an opening band for Exodus. I was curious about them because of their VERY ORIGINAL name, but I didn’t expect the epicness I would see. As soon as they started playing, I was blown away. They were lightning fast, had the crowd pumped, and displayed AMAZING talent. So why do I dislike the band so much? It’s simply because I bought this album.
Don’t get me wrong. They have some of the thrashiest stuff I’ve ever listened to, but that’s ALL they do! Each song starts out fast, keeps going fast, and ends with a sudden burst of silence after being… well… fast. That’s what this album is truly defined as. If you like that sort of thing, then listen to this album! Just don’t expect more than what it is. In fact, it’s what prohibits me from writing a good review. No song is separated from the other. Each song has its beginning riff which is followed by a harsh drumbeat. They all have gang shouts and they’re all just a quick burst of adrenaline. The only thing I can point out that makes this album slightly original would be the clean intro to “Desolate Future” and the quick bass intro to the title track. Otherwise, this is just a 50 minute wall of sound.
Now, I’ve only been bashing on this album, but there is actually quite a bit of “good” in this album as well. I mean… the 3.5 had to come from SOMEWHERE… right? What makes this album good is the complexity of it. If you sit down and listen to how much their fingers move, you’d see that they actually put quite a lot of effort into the album. The song structures are bizarre, the riffs are chaotic, and the solos make me wish I possessed that type of dexterity. Not only is that, but the thrash they compose is very headbangable. It’s all they do, but they do it VERY WELL. Why else do I enjoy their shows so much? They possess the ability to punch you in the face and then break your neck without laying a finger on you… through music.
BbB show their sound so goddamn well. It’s a shame that they can’t do more than that. They don’t add anything interesting to the mix. There’s nothing to separate this album from the many, many other NWOTM bands. Not only that, but there’s still 2 more decades of thrash to look through! This is a good album, but not one a person should choose over another. Give it a listen, but there is not much that’ll make you want to do it again.