Of One Blood is a band from Glasgow who has been plying their brand of metal since their inception in 2012. They have released their second album called Bonedust and Rust by themselves and after meeting guitarist Greig with his other band Burning the Dream at a gig recently, he passed this on to me to review. Now, everyone knows that death metal is my passion but sometimes you have to look for that something different to keep things fresh and appreciate that there are other styles out there, so I was quite keen to see what Of One Blood had in store for me.
Opening track “End of Days” starts with a nice and catchy melody which must be a nightmare to play in the live environment. The sound of the album is crystal clear, with every instrument being clearly audible. After the catchy melody, there are plenty of chugging riffs which bring in their metalcore influences and vocalist Ali has a mix of vocals ranging from aggressive to clean.
Ali certainly has the voice to front the band and can mix his vocal style with ease. This is a track that will get the crowd moving in the live environment and had me eager to see what is next. “Beneath the Waves” from the off sounded that bit heavier and I felt the guitars sounded better in this track than the opener. This is more straight forward thrash metal mixed with metalcore and after a few more listens, there were hints of Anthrax and Meshuggah with the slow deep and chugging riffs in places. This formula of harsh vocals quickly mixed with clean vocals seems to work for Of One Blood as they pick the right places to change the vocal style. This leaves a positive lasting impression of the musicianship on show here.
“Judge” starts off with the heaviest riff from guitarists Greig and Cally as if they had down tuned their guitars for this song. Harsh and face melting vocals are the order of the day with this tune, with no clean vocals in sight. The end of this song in particular is the strongest so far on the album and certainly the heaviest, but this may be the death metal bias that I have. This will definitely be a crowd pleaser on the live front, and when you hear Ali scream “Your lives are fucking worthless”, you can picture a wall of death colliding within the venue.
“Surrender into None” is full of epic groove laden riffs which are almost death metal in places, before a mixture of harsh vocals over the heaviest riffs are blended into chugging riffs with clear vocals. This definitely works and like I have already said, they know how to mix things up perfectly. We are treated to a couple of guitar solos here for the first time and drummer Hoogz even mixes things up a bit at the end.
“Forever Bound” carries on the same formula of mid-paced metalcore with thrash overtones before we hear “A New Light” bring in one of the fastest riffs of the album, where Ali’s vocals are neither growling nor clear, but in-between and the riffs had my head nodding in appreciation of what I was listening to. This is like their anthem, about rising up and freeing yourselves against the system and is a sure fire winner in the live environment.
“Till All Are One” is an in-your-face track that gets this head banging at the keyboard in acknowledgement of the musicianship on show here from all band members, backed by Ali’s angry vocals. There are more thrash elements in this song and it will get the pit moving around no bother, making this another highlight. The track ends with another nice melodic hook and the best riff of the album for me. Closing track “Effigy” displays Ali at his angriest, as I feel that there is more power in his vocals compared to any other track, even when he is doing his clear vocals. This is a worthy album closer and leaves a lasting impression on you and makes you press the “repeat album” button on your stereo. “Effigy” follows the same formula as throughout the album but I feel that this song has been constructed better than the others, mixing time changes, chugging riffs and melodies that will please everybody.
I feel that this album though is only the tip of the iceberg compared to their live performances which are much more in your face. I can picture Ali jumping into the crowd and shouting his vocals and kicking everyone in the pit. There really isn’t a band that I can compare Of One Blood to as they have a range of styles and they have enough originality to make a sound of their own… one that I am sure will make their time come, if they keep progressing as musicians and play more gigs. New fan of Of One Blood right here.
Bonedust and Rust is out now