Bloodyard – Orchard Of Corpses
Release Date: 01/05/2020
Running Time: 42.27
Review by Dark Juan
Hello, my mischievous little munchkins and pixies. I trust you have all been cavorting around ancient forests like the good little misanthropic spirits you are and terrifying small children? Capital, my pernicious little piskies, capital. It seems that you are now allowed to go and get a haircut, but you aren’t yet allowed to adorn your skin with art. Because tattoo studios aren’t some of the most hygienic places in the world are they? I normally avoid politics because it’s a) Boring as fuck for you lot to read, b) I’m right and you’re wrong (TRUST ME ON THIS!) and c) the art of debate appears to have died a grisly and unpleasant death because we are all apparently snowflakes repeating fake news, regardless of which point of view we have. Suffice it to say that the current parasite inhabiting Number 10 appears to be hell bent on killing off our entire scene and I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT! Apparently the choleric Mrs. Phillips from number 42, Saddleworth Road can now toddle off and get her fucking blue rinse sorted out and gossip with her equally unhealthy friends at a 1 metre distance in a hair salon full of hair clippings but we can’t get fucking tattoos or piercings and go and watch some heavy fucking metal played live in a sweaty, salty club somewhere. Even the mop topped fuckwits have their beloved fucking football back. It is not right and Boris is a right pigfucking cunt. I’d like to curse the entire planet but that would leave me no virgins to defile and that would not be a good thing. I get testy when I am not able to perpetrate horrors on the wildly resisting bodies of nubile young victims. I’d like to say that that is my rant over but it probably is only the beginning… For the record, Dark Juan does not like football – if I want to shout myself hoarse for 90 minutes at people who aren’t listening and don’t give a fuck anyway I’ll just go to work as normal and I don’t have to pay investment groups gajillions of pounds for a season ticket to go and be wet, poor, cold and deafened.
Well, this is thrilling. I have, clenched in my sweaty and considerably sexually aroused hands the debut album from Lancaster death metal speedsters Bloodyard. Led by Amazonian, and not in the least bit frightening, frontwoman Donna Hurd, who appears to have been doing unspeakable things with acid, broken glass and large amounts of gravel to her voice, they have unleashed a record that would have done a very well established act justice. This is an excellent debut. My arousal only increases. You lucky things. I must note that it appears, from my past couple of reviews, the UK is undergoing a rather splendid wave of British death metal at the moment. And especially fronted by the fairer sex. This is not me being misogynist (although the darker ideas I have about ladies absolutely are…) this is me commenting that I find it gratifying that women are standing up in a genre that has not been historically populated by women and making it their own. Both Basement Torture Killings’ Beryl and Bloodyard’s Donna are as good as the classic male vocalists of the genre and actually better than the David Vincents of the world. I’m conflicted about the past couple of sentences because I’m not trying to draw comparisons. I’m all about equal rights (rites?) and I am a feminist, and to my sensibilities I have just been tremendously sexist, where all I was trying to say was that Donna is a great DM vocalist. Fuck’s sake. Being woke is hard sometimes. It’s staying in the review because I do think it a great thing that more extreme genres are starting to be populated by women and I believe in being honest with all you good folk out there. Extreme metal has been a sausage fest for too long.
Let’s move to less deep water where I can’t get myself in trouble any more, shall we? The music is excellent. The guitar sound is rather more crisp and legible than most death metal and there is an undercurrent of more traditional metal underpinning Bloodyard’s sound that proves to be an advantage, as it manages to break the unrelenting brutality up and makes “Orchard Of Corpses” something greater than the sum of its parts. There are also little thrash touches – on “Antithesis” especially there is an extremely Slayerish moment… I’ll let you all find out what that is. The fact that the band hail from the Historic County Palatine of Lancashire is another point in their favour considering your favourite Satanic shock rock hack is a Lancastrian boy too (apart from Donna, who is very obviously Scottish, but she does count as Northern and therefore brilliant!) The drumming on the record is tighter than a gnat’s chuff, the bass happily vibrates your nethers into a state of priapic excitement, the guitar work incisive and sharp, and the vocals facemeltingly intense. What’s not to love?
There are a couple of negative points I’ll quickly address because they are minor and don’t really impact on my enjoyment of the record – there is a slight case of musical schizophrenia as Bloodyard do appear to have moments of being unsure as to whether they want to be full bore death metal or add some groove in there, and a couple of the songs do feel to be a bit overlong, “Antithesis” (that song again!) could comfortably have had a minute shaved off the end of it and no one would have been the wiser. But, and this is a BIG FUCKING BUT, it is a debut album and a very, very good one. Everyone has to start somewhere and hopefully quality control will become better as Bloodyard continue their hopefully meteoric rise.
Standout tracks are “All Hail The Crimson King” which is just meaty as fuck, “Antithesis” which combines death, groove and thrash in a fashion that can only be described as sexual and the title track, which is old school DM of the highest calibre. Hopefully we are seeing a NWOBDM forming with Bloodyard in the vanguard.
To summarise – Bloodyard’s battlewagon is combat ready and devastatingly lethal, but the engine is missing a beat or two. Otherwise it’s a matt black, lead belching death machine razing everything, and butchering everyone around it. Just the kind of thing that gets my lust murdering tendencies fired up. Well done, you beautiful bunch of axe murdering bastards.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Bloodyard a blistering 8/10 for a first class debut. Can’t wait to make them the soundtrack to my own personal apocalypse.
01. Blood Begets Blood
03. Rupture The Mask
04. Orchard Of Corpses
05. All Hail The Crimson King
06. Stack The Pyre
08. Purge The Rot
Donna Hurd – Vocals
Nick Adamson – Guitar
Dave Cowley – Bass (Proof of my theory that all bands have a hidden Dave! There is ALWAYS A DAVE!)
Matty Lee – Drums
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