Bloodbound - Tabula Rasa
Blistering Records
Melodic Power Metal
11 songs (44'03)
Release year: 2009
Bloodbound, Blistering Records
Reviewed by Marty
Sweden's Bloodbound is back with their third album and things seem to be all patched up with original vocalist Urban Breed (Tad Morose, Pyramaze) as he's back behind the mic. They had a bit if a falling out with him after their first album, Nosferatu and recruited Jaded Heart vocalist Michael Bormann for their second album Book Of The Dead. Both albums were very different with Book Of The Dead trading in the speedy and melodic power metal of their debut in favour of a more melodic hard rock sound. With Tabula Rasa, the band has ditched the ridiculous corpse paint and makeup and have returned with some "meatier" power metal that although still retains the soaring melodic sense of previous work, also features more of a down-tuned modern metal edge.

Tabula rasa is Latin for "blank slate" and is also the term used for the belief that our personalities and choices that we make in life have nothing to do with genetics. It's all of life's experiences that shape our personality throughout our lifetime. The term "blank slate" is more applicable here as along with this new album being the first for their new label Blistering Records, one gets the sense of a rebirth or new direction when listening to Tabula Rasa. Some of the speediness of the debut album is still present within but a down-tuned heavy and chunkier edge fuels many of the tracks here. Sweet Dreams of Madness is the album opener and right away, the new direction in sound is announced. The vocals still soar and there's some amazingly melodic choruses like always yet the booming and chunky bottom end is something new for Bloodbound. Overall I sense more of a Jorn Lande era Masterplan vibe with a few of the choruses even having Kamelot-like qualities. Dominion 5 sees the huge vocals of Urban Breed being front and centre and this track as well as All Rights Reserved sees a surge in technical riffing and the use of odd time signatures. Other highlights include the 2-part title track that is once again soaring and melodic yet features some great shredding lead guitar work. Many tracks begin to sound very similar in their approach and vocal arrangements yet the quality never really fades throughout the album. Thrash metal vibes even permeate some of the riffs to tracks like Twisted Kind Of Fate and Night Touches You throws us a curve with a track that blends expressive lead work over quiet interludes and then mixes in heavier and modern edged metal; all with different intensities and tempos.

In much the same way that speedy melodic power metal bands all begin to sound the same after a while, the same holds true for the many new bands that use drop D tuning to create a more modern-edged metal sound. In this case, the excellent song writing, soaring melodies and strong choruses separate Bloodbound from the rest of the pack. In as much as it is really difficult to pin point any real killer tracks, it's also just as difficult to find songs here that don't make the grade. More prominent and heavier riffing, a definite boost in the bottom end and more of the amazing vocals of Urban Breed all create another very solid Bloodbound album. Whether or not the new direction in sound is to your liking is something to decide for yourself. Judging by the very favourable reaction that this album has gotten so far, the recipe of expanding and modernizing their musical boundaries, all the while revisiting the melodic power metal sound of the first album, seems to have worked.

Killing Songs :
Dominion 5, Tabula Rasa (Parts 1 and 2) and Twisted Kind Of Fate
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Bloodbound that we have reviewed:
Bloodbound - Unholy Cross reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Bloodbound - Book Of The Dead reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
Bloodbound - Nosferatu reviewed by Marty and quoted 92 / 100
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