Blood Has Been Shed Novella of Uriel

Adhering to Ferret's unofficial mandate of "progressive and aggressive music," Blood Has Been Shed's debut full-length follows and exceeds said mission statement with Novella Of Uriel. Reputed to have been written and re-written countless times in a quest for purity, Novella is fraught with precision playing and a cascading flow. Elements of hardcore, metal and prog are explored, alongside an underlying emotional context, which plumbs the deepest levels of despair, frustration and, strangely, redemption. Combining dizzying technical excursions with an enveloping heaviness that recalls Necroticism-era Carcass, atmospheric interludes that superbly utilise the violin (lending a My Dying Bride quality) and a base that seems equally as taken with black and death as any form of hardcore, Blood Has Been Shed doesn't quite play music, as they unleash it. From the brutal yet technical "Benediction," the Candiria-like jazz excursion in "Intervention" and the mid-paced progressive death of "And A Seraphim Cries," Blood Has Been Shed lays waste while offering more than just the standard fare. Acoustic moments, ambient breaths and the aforementioned violin lend additionally colour, and comparisons to Meshuggah would also not be unwarranted. However, if Blood Has Been Shed falters, it's only with their sporadic clean vocals, which veer dangerously close to prog-metal territory. A minor flaw, which does little to mar Novella Of Uriel. (Ferret)