Album: Justified Murder – EP
If you press someone hard enough, chances are, they’ll tell you at least one person they would kill if they had the chance. Even the most peaceful people in the world have their “short list” of individuals planet earth would be better off without. With the right circumstances and enough motive, it all comes together—a combination of cold, calculated disgust and instinctual, carnal fury—a crime that seems worthy of reward rather than punishment. It is Justified Murder, the debut EP by terrifying metalcore trio Bloodbather. A combination of heartless, remorseless heaviness and passionate, piercing vocals, Justified Murder is the soundtrack to a malevolent mercy-killing—an act of depravity rationalized under extreme circumstances—that fans of hectic, hellishly intense music will have no problem sinking their teeth in to.
Instrumentally, Bloodbather align themselves with both chaotic, dissonant hardcore and yesteryear’s fast-paced, razor-sharp metalcore. A figurative 2000’s metalcore “revival,” the group favor straightforward chords and deep-cutting riffs as segues into bone-splintering breakdowns and skull-cracking beatdowns. Instrumentalists Matt Stokes and Aaron StPierre work together to create brief—but intense—spats of energetic, eviscerating mayhem. With none of Justified Murder’s three tracks cracking three minutes long, Bloodbather pack a full portion of blistering brutality into a six-minute dose. Together, Stokes and StPierre work to create straightforward songs designed only with the intention of instilling violence: whether it’s the chaos-driven “Consequence” or the more lengthy and carefully written “Justified Murder,” the duo manage to blend dancy two-steps and hammering, heavy breakdowns in a manner that would make Mother Theresa crowdkill.
Where Stokes and StPierre excel at bringing raw, panic-chord packed energy to life with their instrumentation, frontman Jeffrey Georges does the same with his gruff, grisly vocals. The shouts, bellows and yells on Justified Murder are gritty and raw sounding to a point where the listener can practically feel Georges’ blood and spit hitting their ears. From the mosh calls in “Consequences” to his more lyrically savvy screams on “The Hunt” and “Justified Murder,” Georges takes the frenzied fervor radiating from Stokes and StPierre’s musicianship and adds to it tenfold, giving every song a grating, primal energy that inspires listeners to get bloodthirsty.
No breaks, no atmosphere and no subtlety, Bloodbather’s debut is a smothering lesson in sinister aggression with but one flaw: it’s only six minutes long. Basically a Titled demo, Justified Murder is a collection of deep, moshy, murderous cuts that makes the listener crave more. Packing more heat into three short songs than many bands can put into an entire debut, Bloodbather succeed in piquing the interest of heavy music enthusiasts, baiting them for what comes next.
For Fans Of: On Broken Wings, Varials, xRepentancex
By: Connor Welsh