Formed in 2012 in the Dutch city of Utrecht, Bleeding Gods are a rather obscure entity in the world of metal. Their first full length came in 2015 titled ‘Shepherd of Souls’. Based on my limited knowledge of their previous works, I would say they were a pretty straightforward ‘Cannibal Corpse’ worshipping Brutal Death Metal band, however their latest offering ‘Dodekathlon’ feels like a major departure from their sound where they bring in and incorporate influences from everywhere and result in something epic.
It is difficult to determine what genre this album would fall into. It could be primarily categorized as Black/Death metal with influences of but not limited to thrash and symphonic metal. Also apparent at times are elements of Viking metal and Dimmu Borgir-esque atmospherics. Throughout the album, the group has been able to maintain an epic wall of sound backed by hard pounding riffs, which makes this an amazing album to headbang to. The production is great, so is the display of musical proficiency.
Intense vigor runs throughout the album. As mentioned earlier, one can hear how various styles have been so brilliantly places one after another in almost periodically timed sequences, that it feels like an adventurous journey while listening to it. With that being said, there is no doubt that this is an album that sounds great, has goose bump causing moments, but at the same time, somehow lacks in innovation as a whole.
I have had a somewhat surreal experience listening to the album. The first listen felt epic and sounded fresh as compared to a lot of extreme metal albums I have listened to lately. However, a couple of listens later, it just made me realize that though the interplay of styles felt like a safe experiment, one could very easily figure out the various bands to which the sound bears huge resemblances. A lot of styles were incorporated, but they failed to craft a style, which they could call their own. In my opinion, they are yet to find a sound of their own which to me is a very important factor a band should possess.
Nonetheless, none of the tracks on this record could be considered weak. They would be the perfect backing soundtrack to march into battle to with a flaming sword. Another notable aspect is how the band celebrates those nasty riffs. It’s an all out attack on the listener’s senses, leaving them vulnerable to mosh tendencies.
‘Dodekathlon’ by Bleeding Gods is an all out assault on our senses. It is the purest rendition of rage and fury. A fresh start for metal this New Year.