Music

Bonded by Blood: Exiled to Earth

Young thrashers justify the hype of their debut by following it up with a concept album that positively slays.


Bonded by Blood

Exiled to Earth

Label: Earache
US Release Date: 2010-08-10
UK Release Date: 2010-09-06
Label website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

There have been many waves of thrash metal in the course of the past three decades. The whole scene started in the early '80s with the Big Four -- Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax -- and the numerous American and German thrash bands that followed them. In the late '80s and early '90s, as thrash started to fade, the second wave began, with less-prominent American thrash bands and German bands attempting to keep the scene alive while the Big Four stagnated or lost relevance. In the late '90s, a new wave of thrash bands from Europe, led by the Haunted and Darkane, took on the mantle of thrash revivalists, helping to bring the scene back.

Now, in the last five years, a whole new group of young American thrash bands have attempted to bring back the old-school thrash style of the '80s with their fast, technical play and raw production. Bonded by Blood is one of the bands in this fourth wave of thrash, and its debut Feed the Beast showed a lot of promise. The band's sophomore effort, Exiled to Earth, upholds the high standard Bonded by Blood set for itself and even sees the group surpass it in some ways.

Exiled to Earth is unique in that it's a concept album, which is incredibly rare to see in thrash. The album tells the story of an alien race known as the Crong, who come to Earth intent on conquest. A group of warriors must fight back against the Crong to regain control of the planet and save the human race. Almost none of the veteran thrash bands ever attempted to create a concept album, so seeing one of the young bands do that shows a lot of maturity and inventiveness. The concept only exists in the lyrics, so it doesn't distract from the music in any way. However, it also makes the lyrics even more interesting to read and memorize, for those who enjoy doing such things.

Musically, Exiled to Earth is a throwback to the glory days of thrash in the early '80s with just enough young energy added to make it sound fresh. This will make the album a big hit among both diehard thrash veterans and newcomers to the genre. Guitarists Alex Lee and Juan Juarez channel the best parts of Slayer from Reign in Blood and Seasons in the Abyss, from the lightning-fast solos to the impossibly tight riffing. Vocalist Jose Barrales is a dead ringer for Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth of Overkill, using the same high-pitched, urgent delivery of the veteran. Drummer Carlos Regalado and bassist Jerry Garcia keep the rhythm section together from start to finish, reminding listeners simultaneously of Ton Hunting from Exodus and David Ellefson of Megadeth.

In short, Bonded by Blood has created a titanic record that raises the bar for all of its contemporaries. The other young thrash bands have held their own up until this point, but Bonded by Blood is now the first one to step out and make a statement. Exiled to Earth shows all doubters that this band is the real deal, capable of playing with the veterans as well as its peers. Expect to hear more great things from Bonded by Blood in the future.

8


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Books

A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.

Music

The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.

Music

Jaye Jayle's 'Prisyn' Is a Dark Ride Into Electric Night

Jaye Jayle salvage the best materials from Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Berlin-era on Prisyn to construct a powerful and impressive engine all their own.

Music

Kathleen Edwards Finds 'Total Freedom'

Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.

Television

HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.

Music

Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.

Music

Finding the Light: An Interview with Kathy Sledge

With a timeless voice that's made her the "Queen of Club Quarantine", Grammy-nominated vocalist Kathy Sledge opens up her "Family Room" and delivers new grooves with Horse Meat Disco.

Books

'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.

Film

'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.