Bloodletter – “Under The Dark Mark” Album Review (death/thrash metal)

Under The Dark Mark

We go back a few months and to the “windy” city of Chicago for a release that appropriately comes from a city with such a nickname.  Bloodletter is one of those bands that mixes thrash and death metal.  But what separates them is the miracle that they haven’t been signed to an indie or major label yet.

Today we have their latest release, Under The Dark Mark.

From Bandcamp: “Born from the bitter cold winds that howl throughout Chicago, Illinois, Bloodletter was formed to help spread melodic, heavy and fast thrash metal within the city. The band spent nearly a year crafting, writing, recording and mixing their debut LP and wanted to ensure that they brought the heaviest, most melodic and most aggressive release to date.”

Under The Dark Mark contains 9 solid studio tracks along with an incredibly effective intro that nods a bit in the direction of Iron Maiden’s dual guitar attack.  Speaking of which, that’s one of the highlights of this release; that is. how the twin guitars play off of one another.  Think of Murray/Smith on speed.  Most of the tracks range between 2:30 and 3:30 keeping the listener at full attention.

Vocally I’m taken back to the magic of such releases as Kreator’s Extreme Aggression or for a slightly more obscure release, Atrophy’s Violent By Nature.  Musically, there are again some similarities with these and other bands of the 80s and 90s.  I suppose it’s appropriate that the band has been fortunate enough to share the stage with such bands as: DRI, Arsis, Onslaught and Artillery.  As noted, the guitar work is the stand-out feature of this album.  Much of the time, one guitar spends some emphasis on some upper-range tremolo picking while the other helps hold the foundation of the tracks.  And the solos are pretty stellar as well.

Under The Dark Mark is very much a rock-solid thrash record that stands toe-to-toe with most others currently out there.  No fluff, no keyboards, no strings… just pure thrash metal for thrash-metal purists.  Available on CD and digital download.

Bloodletter – thrash metal from Chicago

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