As the world descends into deeper turmoil and self-destruction, Norwegian incitement BLOOD COMMAND have just added fuel to the fire with their new album, Praise Armageddonism. You may have heard or realised the prowess and reputation the Bergen outfit has already governed, but whether newcomer or fan the rousing tempest of their new release will leave previous acclamation and pleasure in tatters as the quintet take humanity by the throat and guides and supports it through the apocalypse seemingly rising up around us.
Praise Armageddonism is a glorious incursion upon the senses, thoughts, and emotions yet equally one of the most spirit enlivening confrontations of recent times. It springs accusation and spews vitriol with every dispute clad observational and intimate breath but equally it is a fury which is call to arms like in its encouragement and “if you’re with us, you’re with us until the end” heart; the united tribe of BLOOD COMMAND against the world.
The album also sees new vocalist Nikki Brumen alongside guitarists Yngve Andersen and Benjamin Berge, bassist Snorre Kilvaer, and drummer Sigurd Haakaas. The ex-PAGAN front woman joined the band in 2020 as it found itself needing a vocalist even with Praise Armageddonism completed. With her former band by then no more and Brumen a vocal fan of the band it was as if things were meant to be and listening to the album with her fire and prowess now in its veins there is no escaping the feeling that it was the union needed and destined to take the band to the next level. Brumen brings the whole range of emotions to Andersen’s lyrics, opening up new depths and intensity in their socio-political explorations and condemnations.
Praise Armageddonism bears a voracious and uncompromising collection of incitements yet each as virulently infectious as they are ravenously intrusive and furious; the band’s ‘death pop’ sound toxicant and tonic in equal measure. It is a proposal impossible to pin down but is nurtured from an amalgam of punk, alt pop, hardcore and noise rock, erupting in a sound which savages and arouses as the senses are devoured and body inspired.
The album’s opening climate setting apocalypse painting Praise Armageddonism (Awake Theme) courts the imagination first but soon launches its adrenaline cored spite at the world. In no time, the track is barbarous and merciless in its rhythmic, sonic, and vocal antipathy; a raging assault soon breeding pure contagion too as melody and harmonic rumination blossom in the turbulence.
Saturday City swiftly follows casting its own viral catchiness and melodic prowess in electronic and sonic endeavour. Brumen is beauty and the beast in her vocal discourse, Valkyrie meets siren as she rips into and serenades the disorder our lives frequent. The track is superb, insatiable in its bite and captivation with The End is Her just as compelling as its initial shadows lead to the collusion and contemplation of light and dark brewed contention. Again barbed and cunningly catchy hooks dig deep and riffs abrade as rhythms bruise within a song which had the body keenly bouncing.
The ferocious Everything You Love Will Burn gripped next, Haakaas’s animated rhythms manipulative arousal matched by Brumen’s hellfire dipped tones while A Questionable Taste in Friends proved a devil in grooved seduction and harmonic temptation. There is a Sonic Boom Six hue to the heavy rock kilned song which only added to its authority upon hungry attention and lusty pleasure, both immediately exploited again by the deviously viral popcore antics of A Villain’s Monologue. Sinister and psychotic with the seductive prowess of a sonic succubus, the track is glorious; as all songs taking over the body whilst igniting the spirit and poking thoughts with its addictive irritability.
The favourite track conqueror is soon given a battering of matching craft and animosity by Nuns, Guns & Cowboys. It is an inferno of discord and quarrel bound in an atmospheric sea of intimation and another major peak within the mountainous landscape of Praise Armageddonism.
The emotively blazing I Just Want That Movie Ending and Burn the Blasphemer with its predacious character and feral yet skilfully composed challenge only increased our already unshakeable infatuation with the release, the second of the two a majestic demon of temptation and vex scored enterprise earning a dual grip on our best track choice.
The raging cyclone of sonic and melodic irresistibility that is Last Call for Heaven’s Gate brings the album to a stunning close; the final summons for the ultimate escape unbridled fascination and imagination in a pyre of galvanic incitement and emotional intensity.
The outstanding end just epitomises the full craft and invention of the band and in Praise Armageddonism, the multifaceted power and prowess of quite simply one of the year’s major proposals.
Praise Armageddonism is out now via HASSLE RECORDS; available digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl and CD versions @ https://bloodcommand.bandcamp.com/
FORTHCOMING GIGS/TOUR DATES:
31 Denmark, Copenhagen, Pumpehuset
02 France, Paris, Olympic Café
04 England, Brighton, Washed Out Festival
06 England, London, Camden Assembly
07 England, Bristol, Exchange
08 Scotland, Glasgow, Stereo
09 England, Manchester, Deaf Institute
11 Netherlands, Amsterdam, Melkweg Up
13 Germany, Hamburg, Goldener Salon
14 Germany, Cologne, Blue Shell
15 Germany, Munich, Orangehouse
16 Germany, Berlin, Badehaus
18 Sweden, Gothenburg, Fängelset
21 Finland, Helsinki, On The Rocks
23 Sweden, Stockholm, Nalen Klubb
Pete RingMaster 18/07/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review