Bloodride – Idiocracy
Like most thrash, the appeal tends to lean towards the groove of the riffs, and tracks like ‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘Stranger Roots’ do just that. Not quite speed thrash but also not the slow mid paced thumpers that a band like Slayer would put out, Bloodride deliver some strong chops that will garner attention. At the same time, a lot of these chops and riffs may tend to sound the same after a while once one is halfway through the album, so there is a slight pitfall there. However, those who are well versed in thrash know this is what to expect, and thankfully the group does a good job at churning out plenty of solid groove such as the chugging ‘Preaching to the Choir’ which mixes riffs with a doomy vibe and wailing solos for something that kicks things up a notch above the average thrash piece heard from the late 80s and 90s.
Vocally, the group avoids the high pitched shout or bark and aims for more of a throaty snarl much in the vein of Testament. Adding in a sort of gang vocal style during the chorus such as on ‘Fleshless’ the faster tracks almost feel more like a bit of a death metal approach mixed with the thrash. This is a solid approach with the fact that along with the riffs, the vocals are also very approachable. Sometimes when hearing the higher pitched shrieks in thrash when looking back on groups like Exodus or Megadeth, a lot of people tend to say ‘hey the riffs grab me, but the vocals just don’t do it…’ Here Bloodride do their best to bring the best of both aspects of thrash to satisfy their audience. On the downside, after a while the music tends to blend together, especially due to the riffing such as with the song structure comparison of ‘Fleshless’ and then three tracks later with ‘Limited.’
It takes some subtle hints but Bloodride don’t quite wreck things with their tendency to makes songs sound the same. The track ‘Zombie Walk’ pulls a bit of Metallica rock influence from an album like “Death Magnetic” and despite being not the strongest track on the album (that one goes to ‘Inviting Darkness’ for its excellent riffing) its change in tone and somewhat more laid back approach versus the biting crunch of a lot of the other tracks is nice shift in pace. Not to go out on a slightly soft note, the closing ‘Cast Out…’ brings things back to true thrash form, hitting hard with the riffs and especially the drumming. While the faster tracks tend to whip by quicker than the mid paced ones, they are certainly pit starters and are not short of any energy.
As a whole, “Idiocracy” does nothing really new for those who know of Bloodride. Newer fans will still find it appealing with its crunching groove and more approachable vocals and will also appreciate that it is not another direct Metallica or Slayer rip off. Biting in tone and lyrics though note quite jabbing fingers in a political direction, there is some commentary on social ills and the state of the world with its selfishness, so those who spin this album might find its message somewhat interesting among the enjoyable riffs.
3 / 5 STARS