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Album Review: As Blood Runs Black – Ground Zero

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Artist: As Blood Runs Black
Album:  Ground Zero
Number of Tracks: 10
Release Date: 27th October 2014
Label: Standby Records

Consisting of Chris Bartholomew providing the vocals, Greg Kirkpatrick on guitar, Dan Sugarman also on guitar, Nick Stewart slapping the bass and Hector ‘Lech’ DeSantiago pumping out the drums, As Blood Runs Black has had a mixed 2014. With a year involving some very high points, like getting the funding to release their new album, and sadly, some low points, including having all of their equipment and belongings stolen from their van in Oakland, California. After raising a little over $25,000 on their IndieGoGo campaign, As Blood Runs Black are hoping to end their very mixed year with a major high with their fan-funded release titled Ground Zero.

Starting the album off heavy and very strongly, the first track City Limits is a little one-minute and thirty-nine second track that really does pack a punch. When played live, this is the sort of song where you will have to prepare yourself for a mosh pit and an absolute beating, which when left on, the next song Wasteland wastes no time and throws you right into the heaviness. The first 30 seconds of the title track Ground Zero really does just allow you to embrace the madness, with the definite probability of this track creating a circle pit that could last throughout the entirety of the song.

The fourth song Vision brings a near new-age Killswitch Engage vibe to it, with the well pulled off combination of clean and screaming vocals, and in general, the balance of aggressiveness mixed with a powerful melody. All or Nothing brings some powerful lyrics on to the table, having the line “I’d give everything, to feel nothing at all” on thirty seconds in, changing into “I’ve lost everything, now I feel nothing at all” nearly half way throughout the song.

Being the only instrumental song on the album, Rumple showcases how tight As Blood Runs Black are as musicians, which transitions really well in the seventh track on Ground Zero entitled An Oath, which is a little like Vision, with the track having a slower and meaningful melody mixed with in with the heaviness of what we’ve come to expect with As Blood Runs Black. This track has the cleanest vocals on the album, and with the much slower chorus makes it feel like the slowest track on the album, but the verses do make the song pick up.

In the same way again, Eulogy is heavy all the way until the chorus, where things become a little calmer and then goes back into heavy again. Being the second to last song, Limitless changes the structure to it’s previous song Eulogy, with the chorus becoming much heavier and a tad bit more brutal.  

Bringing Ground Zero to a close, Survival Rights is a great song to end with. This song really does make you want to head-bang, chant and pump your fist along to the majority of the track. This song also has, in my opinion the best line of the album, with the line being “Get the f**k up and fight for survival”.

Overall, Ground Zero is an album that I would definitely recommend a listen, with it having quite a large amount of variation between songs, allowing you to actually define the different songs, which you don’t get with that many metal-core bands nowadays.

If you going to be in America between the 23rd October and the 29th November, I would definitely make an effort to go and see the Los Angeles based lads because it’s sure to be sweaty, heavy and fun, and if you are anything like me, and won’t be making an appearance in Los Angeles any time soon, then all you can do is spam the play button and hope for a UK tour to be announced sometime soon.

If you want to check out more from As Blood Runs Black, you can visit their:
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21-year-old third year Computer Science student at the University of Hertfordshire that often gets mistaken for the Milkybar kid.

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