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Review: Bloodbound - Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa

Label: Blistering Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 40:50
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 12, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
Tabula Rasa

Rated 3.88/5 (77.5%) (40 Votes)

It's hard to believe this is the same band who recorded the marvelous Maiden-tinged Nosferatu, or the good yet riddled with filler Book of the Dead. With the return of the legendary Urban Breed to the microphone, Sweden's Bloodbound seem to have ushered in a new sound. Long gone is the almost 80's rock-like sound of its predecessor. Tabula Rasa is a much darker affair blending Gothenburg-like riffage with Power Metal leads, brilliant song structures and haunting hooks. Urban Breed really delivers here – what did you expect though? He's the fucking man. There's nothing more heart-warming than to see a band you'd nigh on written off to defy all expectations and record the album of their career. Heavy in all the right places but never sacrificing the melodies that had made their debut album such a charming ordeal, it seems Bloodbound have finally found their place in the metal world.

Guitarists Tomas and Henrik Olsson have really stepped up their game on Tabula Rosa, raging throughout the album with Goliath chugging and punishing their fret-boards with highly melodic leads and tearing the whole place up with smoldering shredding. Pelle Åkerlind drum battery really keeps the band in check, performing a wild flurry of furious double bass and pounding rhythms with bassist Johan Sohlberg deftly following the blueprint laid down via Åkerlind. A special mention of course goes to the subtle use of keyboards courtesy of Fredrik Bergh, never becoming over-powering or ridiculously cheesy. Obviously Urban Breed needs no introduction, having torn things up on their debut album, he returns for round two, delivering a performance we haven't seen the likes of since his days in Tad Morose. Tracks such as the incredible "Take One", both parts of the title track and personal highlight "Twisted Kind of Fate" just show how far Bloodbound have come along; the pace rarely lets up. The sole ballad on offer "Night Touches You" is actually pretty damn good, opened with a stunning guitar solo and some Melodic Riffage, Urban Breed really puts on a great show; proving his worth as a first class singer.

With next to nothing to complain about, this should be added straight to your wish-list, fantastic performances all around and really strong tracks is the name of the game. All killer and zilch in the way of filler marks a first for Bloodbound. These guys seem to have found their stride and their place in the metal world, sounding both equally confident and proud. You'd be a fool to deny this release. 2009 is just proving better and better as the months go by. Highly Recommended

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