Live review and photo credit: Adrian Hextall (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Sandwiched inbetween Evil Invaders and Majesty on tonight’s bill, Swedish metallers Bloodbound arrive in the capital for their first London show. Due to nightmare traffic issues impacting all three bands, the show sadly kicks off significantly later than advertised but we still get Bloodbound on stage for a decent length set. .
Having waited a long time to see this excellent power metal outfit, it was definitely a show not to be missed but, due to family and work commitments Fredrik Bergh, Pelle Akerlind and Henrik Olsson would not be performing with the band on the current tour. It was therefore with some trepidation that I descended the steps of the Underworld to watch them. The band had recruited, for the tour, Jocke Johansson (on guitars) and Daniel Sjögren (on drums) with backing tracks to cover Fredrik. Would they be able to deliver? Lets see…
First up and hailing from Leopoldsburg in Belgium, Evil Invaders present everything good about getting in early enough to see the opening act. Tight, energised and playing killer tunes with a stage presence and look that seats them at the same table as Iron Maiden, Exciter, early Metallica, Kreator, Mercyful Fate, Exodus, Megadeth and more.
Formed in 2007, the current line up sees lead vocalist/guitarist Joe as the only remaining founder. The rest of the four-piece outfit includes drummer Senne Jacobs, ex-Fallout guitarist Sam Lemmens, and finally Constant Vulse bassist Max Mayhem, who joined the group in 2014.
From the off, Joe presents the look and image that suggests Dave Mustaine, Cliff Burton and a willing female fan managed to create the ultimate hybrid love child during the 80s and he carries a voice that Crimson Glory’s Midnight would have been proud were he still around to hear it. It’s a blistering and frenetic set that is over all too quickly thanks to the logistical issues the bands have faced getting to the venue tonight. However, the set is more than enough to hook a significant proportion of the crowd and should see many new fans getting hold of copies of latest release.
As I write this, Sam Lemmens has decided to leave the band for personal reasons which is a real shame as he adds some great guitar work to the mix as well. The band’s previous bassist Nico will be helping out on a temporary basis during the Skull Fist tour across Europe. Going forward there may still be some shows until September will be with Sam. From then on current bassist Max will be taking over the lead guitars.
Joe – Vocals / Guitars
Sam Lemmens – Lead guitars
Senne Jacobs – Drums
Max Mayhem – Bass
Bloodbound was founded in Sweden in the summer of 2004 by Tomas Olsson and Fredrik Bergh, début album “Nosferatu” was released in 2006 to great critical acclaim and was the album that hooked me right from the off.
Having gone through different vocalists including Urban Breed (for two albums) the band have now settled on Patrik (‘Pata’) Johansson. Patrik has now recorded three quite different albums with the band, “Unholy Cross” in 2011, “In The Name Of Metal” in 2012 and finally latest album “Stormborn” which is quite possibly the strongest release to date from the band.
With “Bloodtale” and “Satanic Panic” from the latest release kicking off the show, it’s clear the deputies are doing a fantastic job standing in for their regular counterparts. Tomas Olsson and Patrik Johansson do shine however and it’s clear the new vocalist and founding guitarist work extremely well together. Patrik’s voice is powerful and even in the confines of the Underworld, his range punches through the air confirming his place, front and centre, is definitely the right one for the band.
Several more songs from the current release are aired during the set with both “Stormborn” and “Iron Throne” (inspired by the Song of Fire & Ice books / Game of Thrones TV series) being very well received. “In The Name of Metal” shows that the band can easily write chant and stomp along heavy metal anthems as well as Power Metal classics. Whilst their influences are clear, combining Iron Maiden / HammerFall with bombastic elements; there are also tracks that would not be out of place on a Sabaton or Powerwolf release. The combination of styles across all three of the Johansson fronted albums place the band in a unique position allowing them to cross several genres with ease.
Olsson does a great job of peeling off lick after lick and Daniel Sjögren holds everything together from the back with some galloping, rapid fire drumming. “Book of the Dead” from the album of the same name and a live favourite is delivered with aplomb. It’s a shame there isn’t time for more in the set tonight but
There’s no doubt that his is a band that has (despite numerous line up changes) managed to stick to its guns, kept its best elements in place and is firing on all cylinders. It’s a great show that, should anyone present not know them, will ensure back catalogue releases are picked up with a sense of urgency. Great band, great set, check them out.
When Demons Collide
In The Name Of Metal
When The Kingdom Fall
When All Lights Fail
Book Of The Dead