At times during their heyday it seemed that Bloodgood was trying to find its musical voice, were they heavy? Or perhaps they’re more melodic? Each album seemed to stretch them in a different direction but as a fan it left one in the dark a bit because you just weren’t sure which Bloodgood would arrive.
Make no mistake this is the album that fans have been clamoring for. This offering is a nearly perfect mix of melody which plenty of crunching guitar that drives the narrative along. Dangerously Close will have old timers (like myself) breaking out in adulation but also should appeal to younger fans. In comparison to their other albums its heavy as say Out of The Darkness but with better production and the quality of the songwriting is far superior.
Speaking of songwriting there are some nice elements that have added depth to their sound. Child on Earth with its Middle Eastern vibe and melody line caught me completely by surprise. This tune is sure to be a fan favorite and should be considered an immediate classic within the Bloodgood cannon. Heavy and moody with a great bass breakdown and shredding guitar by Oz Fox, it transported me away much like Zeppelins Kashmir.
The video track Lamb of God starts things off in grand fashion with a romp. Run the Race ploughs through melodic radio ground without losing its edge. I Will continues that middle eastern feel as it segues into an ethereal metal journey that is so uplifting you can’t help but smile and worship the One who made all things. Bread Alone picks up the pace a bit with its hooky melody line and is one of those musical left turns with a rather staccato like rhythm structure.
Pray drives along at a mid-tempo pace that is just heavy but also allows the band to branch off into various melodic episodes. I Can Hold On threw me for a loop the first time or so through because it starts off sounding rather pedestrian almost CCM like but it builds and builds until a furious crescendo of power is reached. One’s sense of patience is rewarded with a strong payoff. Run The Race features a riff that is a pure ode to the era in which Bloodgood the band was born, a pure 80’s gem.
Father Father is a real radio track with its semi-ballad feel and dynamics. This left turn has a strong bluesy feel that allows Les to shine (not that he hasn’t already done that!). Les’s vocal throughout this album is a testament to a professional who has honed his instrument and treated it with great care. His control is world class as is his range. While on the topic of performances it must be said that Paul Jackson is one of the most underrated guitar players out there. His feel and sense of melody is stellar, not too mention to songwriting prowess.
What should I say about Paul's compadre Oz Fox that hasn’t already been said over the years? His guitar playing is top drawer, but perhaps one of the things he has brought to this album (his first as a member of Bloodgood) is his backup vocals. During several tracks his vocal is a great compliment to Les. Kevin Whistler’s drumming provides a solid bed rock that all the other elements were able to build on. Whistler’s technique and style complement the songs perfectly.
Michael Bloodgood has always had a great bass tone and this album is no different. Deep rich with the right fixation of treble so as to cut through the musical mirth, he pushes the rhythm section without being overbearing.
Man in the Middle and In the Trenches excel with excellent melodies and strong dynamics. Crush Me is an all acoustic track that is full of passion and heartfelt angst, it’s a prayer and one I can relate to.
Lyrically this is some of the most heartfelt and deeply biblical material that I’ve heard in along time. Yes it’s blatant but without being simplistic, which is the bane of a lot of Christian Metal. I appreciated this refreshing and thoughtful approach which can only benefit one's own spiritual growth.
Dangerously Close is a great disc that deserves to be heard and experienced. It’s a herald of hope the that offers the path to peace. Perhaps a live show from the WCSL Studios in California with full internet streaming will be in the offing so those of us who would love to see them live again (Bloodgood never disappoints live, one of the best!) will have that opportunity.
So grab your copy of one of the best albums released in 2013!!