Crucify The Priest

Bludgeon

Magic Circle Music / Metal Blade Records, 2002

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bludgeon/139785919423192

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/10/2002

With the state of the Catholic Church right now (and my own feelings about it, having been raised Catholic), it might seem in bad taste to review an album named Crucify The Priest. But, hey, I didn't name the album; Chicago-based thrashers Bludgeon did. If I'm going to hell, it'll be for much different reasons.

No doubt that the band - vocalist/guitarist Mark Duca, guitarist Carlos Alvarez, bassist Eric Karol and drummer Matt "Chewey" Dezynski - will be sharing a fondue skewer next to me. But their debut disc is an amazing collection of veteran thrash the way it was meant to be played. Manowar's Joey DeMaio might have been a guiding hand for this group as producer, but leave no doubt that the power and anger you hear is all Bludgeon - and I can't wait to hear more.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Three things set Bludgeon apart from so many other groups in this genre. First and foremost is the solid songwriting that Bludgeon demonstrate throughout Crucify The Priest. What you hear is not merely a collective of instruments and musicians let loose to plow forth at full speed. No, some actual thought went into the structuring of the songs and the lyrics - and for that, Bludgeon is worthy of your attention. Just pay attention to a song like "Zero Tolerance" and experience this for yourself.

Second, Duca's grunted vocals are clearer than so many other thrash bands. Granted, his vocal lines aren't 100 percent clear, but more often than not, the listener can tell what Duca is singing about without having to resort to the lyric sheet. Third, Bludgeon isn't afraid to do different things musically, such as suddenly stop a song, only to pick it up a half-beat later, as they do on "Smoke Screen". The effect is a dangerous one for any band to undertake - hell, the first time I heard the song, I thought my CD player had screwed up - but when executed well, the power it has is unbelievable. Such is the case with Bludgeon.

What is even more amazing about Crucify The Priest is that it sounds like it was recorded in a state-of-the-art studio... when, in reality, it was recorded at the house that Bludgeon calls its home base in Chicago. I don't quite know how they got such a rich sound (though I'm sure DeMaio's production work helped a bit), but it makes me hope their second effort is recorded in the exact same way.

Tracks such as "Inner Hell," "Tortured Through Lies," "Abandoned" and "Idle Distinction" will undoubtedly cause fans of thrash to soil themselves with glee, as they discover the next band who could well be the savior of thrash metal. For Bludgeon's sake, I hope they achieve this. Crucify The Priest might be a first effort, but it proves that Bludgeon is a band who have done their homework. Here's hoping they can live up to the high expectations they've just set for themselves.

2002 Christopher Thelen and "The Daily Vault". All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Magic Circle Music / Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


Comments









© 2002 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Magic Circle Music / Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.