As Blood Runs Black
Ground Zero


2.0
poor

Review

by cryptside USER (76 Reviews)
November 9th, 2014 | 80 replies


Release Date: 10/27/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ground Zero ends up being a more-than-fitting title, as any possible forward progress would be from the bottom-level cesspool that they currently reside in.

Like most avid music lovers out there, I tend to look back at my old listening habits with a mixture of nostalgia and disdain. As Blood Runs Black's debut Allegiance, released in 2006, hit me at a time where metalcore and deathcore was all that I cared to blast in my car. The album boasted everything that I loved in an extreme metal release at that time: varied vocals, machine-gun drumwork, and a myriad of breakdowns. While I haven't completely deviated from my roots in terms of my love for metalcore, the style that As Blood Runs Black play has lost much of its luster for me. The inherent lack of songwriting that Allegiance possessed became readily apparent during a cursory re-listen several months ago. It just didn't seem to possess the memorability of early Through the Eyes of the Dead or With Dead Hands Rising. So, almost a decade later, how does As Blood Runs Black fare" I'll be honest here; Ground Zero is very bad, if only for the fact that the band have essentially put out an album that is a carbon copy of their past releases. Progression has been traded for pandering to the same fans that enjoyed their debut and even though the band has changed dramatically between now and then (13 ex-members seems excessive), the same tired formula is being offered up. Opener "City Limits" masquerades as a song but is essentially just one big breakdown with manic vocals desperately trying to offer up a catchy gang chant at the end. The unmemorable lead work in second track "Insomniac" is a perfect indicator of what to expect throughout the album, and it's that same pitfall that causes this to sink from simply average to not even worth the listener's time. The only change to the tired formula present is the inclusion of a fair amount of clean vocals. They are even naturally included in a few tracks, most notably "An Oath". While the singing is neither horrendous nor incredible, it does provide a service to Ground Zero due to the fact that it provides a few catchy sections. The importance of that crutch is more and more evident as the album goes on, given the laughable lyrics and piss-poor gang-vocal section of "Eulogy". The nostalgic part of me is disappointed in this release. It's barely conceivable that a band that has had more than its share of label, member, and financial issues would struggle through to release an uninspired mess of an album. Ground Zero ends up being a more-than-fitting title, as any possible forward progress would be from the bottom-level cesspool that they currently reside in.



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user ratings (87)
Chart.
2.4
average
related reviews

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Comments:Add a Comment 
cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not a ton to say about this one, but this was insultingly bad. Feedback appreciated on this one.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2014


6447 Comments


I know you're a fan of the 1 paragraphers but you could split this in 2.
edit: actually scratch that. looked a lot more intimidating on my iPhone but it's actually fine. disregard. oh, and pos

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks, dude. I appreciate it! I really thought about splitting it up (still not sure), but I think it looks okay as is. Content of it sound okay to you?

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2014


10203 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good review all though I never like one paragraphers as much as multi paragraphs.



I was so pissed that I donated for this and didn't get my copy of the album that I was sure I wouldn't like it but I was surprised at how not that bad it was. Just a tad better than Instinct but Allegiance is best. The second half of the album seemed more interesting and when they try to be melodic it turns out sort of well. I just don't like that the production on their newer two albums involve those thin guitar tones that try to sound technical when a beefier tone would work better.

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks dude. I don't generally write one paragraphers (only have done two), but if it's an album that I feel I have insight to but there still isn't much to say, I'd rather tailor a no-bullshit review than find myself saying the same things over and over. I agree that a beefier tone would have worked better, I just think that the songwriting is boring on this one. The melody helped with the monotony for sure.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2014


6447 Comments


Will give a better read later and give feedback

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks, Johnny. You're the man.



@game, what is this about you not getting your copy of the album after donating?

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2014


10203 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Happened to a lot of people. The biggest offender was the people that donated for an album download like a week before the release (the base donation level) but no one got anything. The band posted about it early on but they basically blamed it on a third party. Now they are saying to email them personally and they'll fix it or something but at this point I don't care. I've already listened to it and I probably won't again so it doesn't matter.

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ah, that sucks. At least it wasn't a Hester Prynne situation, heard that got really bad.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2014


10203 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

What happened there?

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I know a few people that donated and were supposed to get a physical copy of the cd along with a t-shirt and other little things for like 30 bucks and they never got them. One of my friends emailed and Lance (vocalist) blamed it on not having enough money to appropriately distribute said materials. I remember reading something about it on Facebook, but yeah, I saw other people that donated 100$ and were still asking for their stuff months later.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Fuck these guys. Pos.

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Truth, explo. Thanks man.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

They were never good to begin with, and the fact that they felt so entitled that they crowd funded a shitty album and didn't even pay back their fans just makes them awful human beings.

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agreed, dude. I tried to keep my rage out of the review, but I can't fathom why they needed to release this piece of shit.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Alright, actual nitpicking time:



They are even somewhat naturally included in a few tracks



Some odd word choice here.



The nostalgic part of me is disappointed in this release; it's barely conceivable that a band that has had more than its share of label, member, and financial issues would struggle through to release an uninspired mess of an album.



Feel like you could cut this into two sentences by replacing the semicolon with a period.



Other than that, review does feel like a big block of text at times, but the actual content within it is excellent. Plus, I wouldn't want you to have to spend time writing several paragraphs about this crock of shite.

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I will take somewhat out, I was just trying to convey how surprising it was that it seemed natural lol. I see how that is unnecessarily wordy.



I will fix the other one too, it's a good idea to just throw in a period. I get semicolon-happy.



I could explore making it two paragraphs, but I just don't know where to cut it. Ugh, frustration.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Nah, you might as well make it all or nothing. It's not too big of a deal.

cryptside
November 8th 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fixed the other stuff, thanks dude.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

No prob. Good to see you reviewing again.



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