Published Feb 07, 2014Hard as it may be to believe in 2014, there was once a time when metal and hardcore were kept separate as troops on opposing sides of a battlefield. Early mergers brought the two together at varying degrees of intensity, but Bloodlet truly smashed the two together, with both genres firing with equally fatal vigour, as proven by A389's reissue of Entheogen along with the recently unearthed demo, Embrace.
Entheogen (1996) isn't that far from the slightly off-kilter metallic hardcore of its time, but it's certainly painted a few shades darker, similar to what Slayer did with thrash metal. Primarily mid-tempo, it does get repetitive, but Bloodlet break into the album's longest track right when interests begin to wane, and added length certainly proves beneficial here. The 10-minute epic lives up to its name, "The Triumph," as the Florida band run their genre gamut; it contains Entheogen's most energetic section, which transitions into its prevailing sound before descending into a minimalist melodic interlude, foreboding in sound and nature, as it gives way to the track's crushing finale. It's undoubtedly the album's highlight, but not alone in its brilliance, which covers Entheogen like a thick blanket of ash. Although the Floridian band were advertised as "evil-core" to highlight their sinister overtones, they could just as easily be called unholy terror in homage to the sound they further metallized.
Those looking for more, even longtime fans, can set their sights forward and back, as A389 Records offer previously lost track "Embrace." Recorded alongside two tracks that were released on a seven-inch entitled Shell and Bloodlet's debut LP, Eclectic, this final one sat in limbo until discovered by blog XStuckInThePastX.
Embrace's sound is typical Bloodlet, which at this point is all anyone could ask for. Even the 2002 comeback album, Three Humid Nights in the Cypress Trees, couldn't accomplish that, so this track alone could be the most exciting Bloodlet release since the album it's being reviewed alongside here; if not, then definitely since 1998's The Seraphim Fall. (A389)