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Review: I Chaos – Masterbleeder

I Chaos is a Dutch death metal band that formed in 2009 with the intent of making death metal for the masses to enjoy. Masterbleeder is their second full-length album and is set to release September 25th in 2015. It is a concept album that talks about the mentally oppressed and the pharmaceutical industry. When released, Masterbleeder will be available on Bandcamp.

Through my listening of Masterbleeder, I find it to be a very accessible album. By accessible, I mean that many people may like it. Masterbleeder has a lot going well for it and channels different characteristics that people of different audiences may agree on. For example, the vocals remind me of The Black Dahlia Murder by the sheer rawness and harshness. On songs like “Blinding Bias”, “Sublimation”, “Above All That Bleeds”, and “Bled Empty” there is a relentless barrage of death metal swinging jabs at you. Of course, every song on here has something that stands out and each song relates with one another on some level, but those songs specifically just seem to hit a bit harder than the rest. “Blinding Bias” and “Bled Empty” both feature great guitar solos and drumming that doesn’t slow down for anything. The solos on both have a tone that isn’t too high or ear-piercing, yet the tone is set apart from every other riff or note that is played. What I really liked about “Blinding Bias” was how there was a snare hit to match the main guitar riff, how the vocals fall onto the melody, and the ending. The ending was just great.

“Sublimation” is one of those songs that hooks you from the moment it starts to the bitter end. It starts off fast then shakes it up a bit by changing the entire feel. A catchy riff plays, speeds up, tremolo-picked riffs occur, then the almighty solo comes in. While the solo itself is a fine solo, the rhythm guitar and drums catch my ear a bit more. A riff plays while the drums support that fully with laid-back cymbal hits with pummeling double-bass. It’s a sick song that also has a great ending.

“Above All That Bleeds” isn’t as relentless as the other tracks, but it still has a heavy groove and it does have parts that do take jabs at you. I pointed out this song because it has a chorus that is catchy, heavy, and more reminiscent of TBDM than other parts. “Above All That Bleeds” also reminds me of Sotajumala’s last release by the major riffs and accompanying drums. The bands vary greatly, but this one song is similar. It is also one of the songs that make Masterbleeder such an accessible album. It has everything from speedy death metal, headbanging groove riffs, and a nice chorus. Can’t really go wrong with “Above All That Bleeds.”

Though it wasn’t mentioned with the group of songs earlier, “Waking Hell” is a pretty heavy song too. It is the opening track on Masterbleeder, appropriately so. It is a very heavy song with insane drumming and powerful vocals. I did not mention this with the initial group of songs because this song is not as audibly accessible as the others are, but it is still a fantastic song. “Walking Hell” is heavy, hard, and has a very brief solo that flaunts a bit of technical skill. Check it.

Further proving that Masterbleeder is an album many may enjoy is “Ending of a Lie.” The song is at a mild pace that allows a sublime groove to wrap around your ears. The best way to describe this song is by comparing it to Job for a Cowboy’s “Tarnished Gluttony.” “Tarnished Gluttony” starts with a mild paced riff with the drummer pounding the double-bass and keeping the song heavier than it is, and that’s basically how “Ending of a Lie” is. The difference is they have much different vocals, song progression, production, and instrumental work. “Ending of a Lie” keeps the mild groove for the entirety of the song and only really starts to really change towards the last minute of the song, which isn’t a bad thing. The song is easy to follow and fun to listen to. “The Fallen Race” is partially similar because it also contains a slower groove at one point, but it is mostly a heavy, death metal song that contrasts to “Ending of a Lie”’s structure and playback.

That was a lot to go through, but with the content I Chaos is putting out, it is totally worth it. I found Masterbleeder to be a very nice death metal album. I recommend it to anybody that remotely likes death metal or even just heavy metal in general. My main complaint is that the bass is very low; I was only able to hear it if I had on specific headphones and listened very closely. Only in “The Fallen Race” was there a brief part where the bass stood out. For the average listener that’s not a big deal and wouldn’t impact the rating of the album. The drummer is a cymbal masher and he uses many of his cymbals, which adds some variety and uniqueness to each song. The guitar work was clean, but not too polished.

My Rate: 8.1/10

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