Review: Bloodride – Planet Alcatraz

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Written by Elliot John Doe

Bloodride are a five-piece Thrash Metal band from Helsinki, Finland that formed in the year 2000 by drummer Petteri Lammassaari and ex-guitarist Niko Karppinen. The band soon went on to recruit the rest of their line-up and record their debut EP in 2003, and release their debut full length album in 2011 titled ‘Crowned In Hell’.

The following year, the band saw the departure of long time guitarist Karppinen, which opened up the new addition of Simo Partanen as their full time axe man. With their new line-up came a new album in the form of ‘Bloodmachine’ during 2014, now they’re back with ‘Planet Alcatraz’, let’s take an in-depth journey into the thrashing, slashing and bashing third opus Bloodride have created.

‘Planet Alcatraz’ gets off to a pummelling start with ‘S.O.B;’ filled with Thrash heavy riffs, punk-esque gang vocals back up the chorus, resilient drumming and some intense lead vocals bringing this track all together to create some excellent thrash madness.

Next up we have the title track ‘Planet Alcatraz’ kicking off with some in your face guitar and drum accents before adding in some shredding lead guitar. A very catchy riff completed with a hair swinging beat topped off with an awesome solo.

‘War In Me’ breaks down barriers with a riff and lead guitar to rival many, the punk/thrash sing along chorus draws you in with giant hooks and the breakdown leaves you thirsty for more, rounding out with one more big chorus to bang your head and scream along to.

‘Beyond Repair’ gets pretty dark and creepy, but then switches up with more fast paced thrash riffery. A rumbling rhythm section leads the way on the 2nd verse, big power through choruses and a classic metal solo that will melt off your face and invade your ear drums for days.

‘All We Deserve’ is some old school thrash at it’s best, twisting and winding leads complemented by choppy riffs and thundering bass all carried by D-Beat drumming and polished off with monstrous vocals, you can’t ask for much more when it’s done this well.

‘Baptizing Demons’ fades in with chugging bass, even chuggier guitars and powerful double kick drums. Another hook laden chorus probably more modern than the rest of the album has offered so far, somewhat groove metal more than thrash and what has been my favourite vocal performance from singer J.Leskinen so far.

‘Grave Is Calling’ has more of that groove based drumming and chugging riffs, some well executed leads that are the perfect complement to main in guitars in all the right places, squealing solo guitar that is just oozing with rock & roll feeling and another great set of vocals.

Back to some unrelenting Thrash from the quintet in ‘Rat Racer’ complete with another round of sing along gang vocals in the chorus. An absolutely insane solo that dips and swerves all over the place is a testament to what these guys are capable of and how you can tell they’re in this for the right reasons.

‘Storm Under My Skin’ has an interesting opening riff and lead combo, it drew me in straight away as it’s a little different and very catchy, it comes back around a couple of times and still entrances me every time. Charging bass takes the lead on the verses before the guitar joins in the party, this track also has a great change up of time signatures yet keeps you moving the whole way through. The breakdown even goes as far as getting a little bit prog.

‘Marching Off To War’ begins with military drum rolls and reverb infused lead guitar before Bloodride tear down the house once again with a great blend of thrash and groove riffing and drumming. Adding in some melodic picking in the chorus adds that little extra kick to their already brilliant recipe. A non-stop windmill of swinging hair is all I can envision in this track, containing more punk-esque chants and military inspired leads, another insane solo that is classic metal and rock & roll embodied into 1 seething shred fest.

An amazing third round from these Finnish metal-heads, implementing all that they have done along the way and more; heavy on the thrash, throwing in some groove, adding in some punk and tearing us all a new one in their guitar solos. It’s old school yet modern, it’s raw yet executed so well. I can’t find much fault here and I don’t think you will either. 8/10

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