Back in the day, thirty years ago, when I was a younger man and big into Eighties rock and metal, I attended my fair share of concerts. When I became a Christian in 1982, I naturally began attending my fair share of Christian concerts and festivals as well. I saw the great ones of the day: Petra, Stryper, Deliverance, Whitecross, many more, and the band of this review, Bloodgood, at least a half dozen times.
During that time I answered an ad from a local promoter a county away who was looking for some help to promote shows in my county. I signed on and, eventually, this led me to being part of his volunteer stage crew for some shows, notably Bloodgood on their Detonation tour. (Back then, unless you were as big as Stryper, a Christian band didn't have a road or stage crew, and they usually traveled in a third hand bus or van. It was up to the promoter to get things done.) When I went off to seminary, I caught Bloodgood's shows at the annual Cornerstone festival, and volunteered to work their concession stand so the guys could relax and enjoy the festival. I doubt that the band would recall any of this, but it doesn't matter.
I must admit I didn't really get the Bloodgood sound at first. With Bloodgood, they were doing something heavier, and less 'poppy' than Petra for instance. It was something more akin to NWoBHM music mixed sometimes with speed metal. Les Carlsen had this strong soaring voice with a bit of rasp; founder Michael Bloodgood penned straight forward in your face Gospel lyrics; and David Zaffiro had some sharp exotic riffs and leads that others weren't doing, maybe Queensryche. But the album and the band grew on me, becoming one of my most favorite of all Christian metal bands.
Well enough about me.
Fast forward 30 years or so, and we have Bloodgood returning with Dangerously Close, their first studio album in 22 years. Original members Bloodgood and Carlsen remain with Paul Jackson (g), Kevin Whistler (d) and Oz Fox (g) from Stryper. The music within is more mid to latter period Bloodgood, leaning heavier melodic hard rock. You'll note this on tunes like Lamb of God, Pray, or Man in the Middle. Things more akin to heavy metal come with Run the Race, In The Trenches, or Child on Earth. Some of these might remind longtime fans of earlier material. Then, with Bread Alone, there's something more speedy, almost like power metal. You get one ballad with Father Father, however, more so with Crush Me, a lighter number.
Throughout there's some sharp guitar leads from Jackson and Fox, but I can't tell you who's doing one on what songs as that was not provided with my EPK. Les Carlsen sounds as strong as ever, even no different than 30 years ago. But I got to wonder how old this guy is. Back in the Eighties, from the perspective of my young age, I thought he was ancient (sorry, my friend); he must be in his seventies now. Finally, as it were with most every album, you can't miss the obvious Christian message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This was one thing that Bloodgood never compromised, and that's a good thing. Yet, for those who have some disdain for the 'white' metal/rock bands and their message, I tell you that this album fraggin' rocks; it's very strong classic American melodic hard rock and heavy metal, and you should check it out. Easily recommended.
Christian heavy metal rockers Bloodgood return with their first studio album in 22 years, and it bloody good stuff.
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