Grand Blood, the new album from Boston metal band Doomriders, represents many of the aspects of contemporary metallic hardcore. At once they manage to sound like Mastodon and Converge, but also a bit like Everytime I Die and Harm's Way. There's probably some latter-era Norma Jean to be found in there as well. The Converge element should be no surprise as the lead singer here does play bass for that other band as well. So while this is all fine and good (we are all metal-fans here are we not?), one would hope the reaction to an album would be more than "oh yea, lot's of stuff sounds like this nowadays, yea I guess it's pretty cool."
Don't get me wrong, there's lots to like about Doomriders, and about Grand Blood: there isn't really much to love about it. The guttural vocals, and heavy riffs make for a solid metal sound, but not one that jumps out of the speakers and demands your attention. In a way it kind of represents what I'd call "modern metal soup". Sure it's good, but there's not much to distinguish it or make it stand out. Some songs drag on longer than they should, and some songs (see: "Dead Friends") actually produced more of a shrug than a nod, much less an urge to bang my head.
Though this album left me feeling only slightly better than indifferent, that's no reason to count these guys out. Songs like "New Pyramids" and "Gone to Hell" deserve at least a few spins, and if I was sitting at a bar or a party and the album came on, I definitely wouldn't mind. I have a fair amount of confidence the guys can and will do better next time, and will be pumped to check it out when they do.
Favorite Songs: "New Pyramids", "Grand Blood", "Death in Heat", "Gone to Hell"