Bleeding Gods are a dutch band whose music has been described as epic/symphonic death metal. Founded in 2012 by guitarist Ramon Ploeg (formerly of Houwitser), the band also consists of vocalist Mark Huisman, Bassist Gea Mulder, Guitarist Rutger Van Noordenburg, with Daan Klemann on drums. They gained quite a following playing European metal gigs before releasing their first album, ‘Shepherd Of Souls’ in 2014. Recently signed to renowned label Nuclear Blast, the band are set to release the anticipated second album ‘Dodekathlon’.
The band launch straight into things with the epic first song Bloodguilt. The grand keyboards of the opening part leads into a crashing symphonic death sound. Powerful guitars and heavy blast beats on the drums serve as a back drop to Huisman’s deep but clear growling vocal style. The songs composition contains some good pace and key changes, keeping the listeners interest. The second song, Multiple Decapitation, has these elements as well but gets into much heavier and darker territory. The song has a much heavier blackened death sound with some excellent guitar work, framed by a soaring symphonic keyboard sound. The lyrical themes also get darker and blacker.
Beloved By Artemis crashes in with a very blackened death opening which will have fans of this genre headbanging along. The composition of this song is intricate with different elements, yet maintains a heavy, fast feel. The keyboards blend well in this track, which was a definite highlight on the album for me. From Feast To Beast continues along these lies but with a more symphonic keyboard sound buffeted by some power-style guitar playing. Definitely the most experimental track on the album. The next track, Inhuman Humiliation, gets nice and slow with a definite doom influence showing through. The song has a slow pace but lays on a heavy deep sound, that builds to a fast and thrashy guitar solo. The blackened death influences really shine through on this track too, really showing how versatile these musicians can be.
The next two songs, Birds Of Hate and Saviour Of Crete, really solidify the bands take on a symphonic death sound. Each song has fast and slow sections, with symphonic keyboards framing a more traditional blackened death sound. Very heavy guitars with soaring solos, and some hard and fast drumming are layered with throaty growling vocals. Then we have Tyrannical Blood. This song serves as a refreshing break. A soft ballad style, mostly instrumental song, with intricate acoustic guitars blending well with a softer more airy keyboard sound. Some spoken word parts mix with the occasional power guitar breaks, before going back to the softer style.
Distrust continues on with this softer sound, but brings back the heavier elements. The guitar playing is excellent on this track, both technically and artistically enjoyable. Tripled Anger brings us back to the bands signature sound. This song gets very heavy in sections, highlighting the varied and layered vocal work that really grabs your attention on this track. The final two songs, Hera’s Orchard and Hound Of Hell, round out the album with a slow but heavy theme. Both of these songs start low key, with a feel to the music that builds as you listen. The keyboard is more subtle in these tracks and the album ends on a high note.
Overall Bleeding Gods have really solidified their sound on ‘Dodekathlon’, whilst still experimenting with some different elements. There was some excellent musicianship displayed in sections and the overall sound was tight and well produced. The word epic really does describe what this band brings to the table, a unique blend of the symphonic and the grimm.
The album is due for release on the 12th of January, when you will be able to purchase it here: