Bonded by Blood : The Aftermath

Bonded by Blood, the Californian Thrash-mongers are set to return with ‘The Aftermath’ in early July. It’s (proper) album number 3 for the Exodus worshipping mob, but it did look at some points that it wasn’t going to appear. Line-up changes have been plentiful over the last couple of years which includes replacing founding member and vocalist Aladdin.

It seems the title of ‘The Aftermath’ has a dual meaning. On one hand it is a straight ahead album title for a Thrash band who like to sing about war, death and all that, backed up by by the apocalyptic themed album cover. It may also refer to the aftermath of all the upheaval in the band recently in an equal measure.

Well, when a band has been up against it for a while, it can go one of two ways. In Bonded by Blood’s case they have weathered the storm well and come back fighting with a great new album. They have lost none of their love for Exodus and Mauro Gonzales’ vocals won’t rub too many people up the wrong way, as they aren’t too far away from what has gone down before. The driving rhythm section still races away at the speediest end of Thrash and the riffs are as machine gun-like as you can get without…well, a machine gun.

Not counting the final bonus track (a cover of RATM’s Killing in the Name of) it is a pretty relentless trek through a constant barrage of thrash riffs an squealing solo’s. Bonded by Blood have thrown it all at this album and it’s all come out pretty damn good. The Exodus meets Kreator sound is most effective on the opening ‘I Can’t Hear You’ and the title track. Elsewhere, second track ‘Shepherds of Rot’ is lifted straight from Megadeth’s best mid 90’s playbook. ‘Show no Fear’ displays a groovier side to the riffs on offer which is apparent on a couple more too.

Last up, as mentioned is a cover of RATM’s ‘Killing in the Name Of’, which mixes things up a bit, but to be honest they don’t do a lot with it!

If you like Bonded by Blood or any of the newish young Thrash bands that have been around for a few years now, then ‘The Aftermath’ will be another great addition for your listening pleasure. It’s a great effort from a band seemingly in turmoil of late, and it sounds like all that has made them angry enough to squeeze out a brill album.