The Struggle, the debut mini album from UK metalers Bloodloss, is quite simply stunning and it is frightening to know that as mightily intimidating and impressively crafted as it is, you know there is so much more yet to come from within the London quintet. The release inflicts merciless rampaging riffs upon the senses and striking melodic incursions which take them into blistering realms of ingenuity. For a band new to metal and making its first marked venture into view the release is beyond immense, Bloodloss announcing their arrival with brutal aggression and high quality melodic imagination and vision. The fact that at the end of it one still feels the band has yet to find its true sound is even more impressive and anticipation of what is to come for the band deeply eager.
Released March 5th The Struggle denies resistance to its might from the opening note, the title track leading the consumption of ear and beyond like a mighty goods train flattening all before. Riffs muscle their way through the ear opening up the senses with their staccato attack and a groove that winds itself tightly around its victim. Like a military manoeuvre the song demands and takes complete control to then unveil an expanse of melodic guitar and atmospheric emotion that immerses one like a warm lake. Vocalist Matt Hobbs floats along this passage with smooth vocals that caress and a seamless contrast to the excellent caustic growls he delivers for the majority of the song, and album. The song carries a tinge of Five Finger Death Punch and more than a taste of Bloodsimple but is definitely all Bloodloss.
With a chest thumping entrance This Still Remains takes over to raise the heat even more. With riffs from Rob Ironmonger and Mark Browell that fracture the defences like sledge hammers the song explodes with group shout vocals and more expressive melodic ventures within the ever gripping intense assault. Pierced with some great rock guitar and further smooth vocals which carry as much emotive fuel as the bestial power thrusting the song forward through bassist Dave Smith and the formidable drums of Dan Kelly, the song is the proof of how good this band is and how mighty they are destined to be.
Things though only get better with the best track on the album Stand Alone next swaggering in like a mighty silverback. Confident and arrogant the song bleeds attitude and defiance, its nerve snapping intensity absorbing every sense possible. The song further unveils the craft to the songwriting skills and invention within the band and the skill to bring it forth without depleting the unrelenting power.
The remaining three tracks are just as jaw dropping astounding, the bruising Reborn with a groove as tight as a noose around the neck, the brilliant Lost which stomps over the already surrendering senses with even more passionate aggression, and the closer Paradise and its full arsenal of essential metal weaponry, all continue the wonderful annihilation. The final track is the most diversely creative of what are six intelligent and varied compositions, and a closing declaration of how grand and powerful this band is destined to be musically and in standing.
The Struggle is simply already one of the best and most impressive releases from not only a new band but of any albums or EPs already laying waste to and feeding the ears of the world of metal this year. Do yourself a favour and join the bruising with Bloodloss, you will not regret it.