Bless The Child – Unveiling Retribution

Columbus, Ohio is not known for their death metal, a disadvantage Bless The Child is looking to turn into a positive. The band has spent the past three years playing shows around the area and gathering the parts that make up their debut album, Unveiling Retribution. The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel fans will find a few similarities to get excited about, and the band have a modern death metal sound that almost feels like deathcore at times. The slim amount of breakdowns and emphasis on chunky riffs played on a trio of guitars avoids the mundane of modern metal.

Like Whitechapel, Bless The Child have three guitarists to saturate the sound and increase the volume mass of the music. The guitarists don?t get all Iron Maiden with flashy leads and soaring harmonies, choosing instead to put the work in on the riffs front and build songs moving like an 18-wheeler towards a cement wall. ?Terrorizer? and ?Born As Dust? are the only tracks that use the triple-guitar blueprint in a dynamic manner, trading off on a trio of harmonies.

Unveiling Retribution doesn?t lag on the same themes for very long, though isn?t the kind of record to put all the stock in the future of metal in. Much of the album is just one death metal tune after another, with only a bland intro and breakdown-inspired instrumental in ?Toxins? to spread any variety. Where the band have their minds in the right place is keeping the album at 30 minutes, which gives off an urgent feeling to each song.

These songs may have been heard before, but having the hunger and drive of a young band is expressive enough to make them worth losing hearing over. Vocalist Brian ?Jonesy? Jones has a comprehensible, yet searing, scream bolstered by a strong growl. He takes quite a commanding role on ?She Is Ruin.? The song disproves the opinion that death metal can?t be tuneful. Almost any of these songs could be crowd pleasers given the right audience.

Bless The Child may be one of the few bands playing death metal in their general area, but by expanding their image worldwide, it opens up the band to comparisons to other bands. When doing so, the lack of killer new ideas is disappointing. What keeps Bless The Child from drifting in the current is a precise sound that boils down to aggressive, foot-in-the-face death metal. It?s not fresh, but it?s forceful and edgy, and that?s enough to give Unveiling Retribution the time of day.

Rating: 7/10
Label: Self-released/Independent

By Dan Marsicano

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