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The band ADORIOR hailing from the United Kingdom has just released
the first ever 'official' cover version of a BLESSED DEATH song. Their
wickedly fast and furious version of 10,000 DAYS OF BLOODSHED along
with one the bands original tracks, titled GUTTERS OF CUM, is available
on a SPLIT 12" MLP titled ADORIOR / TERRORAMA from NUCLEAR WAR NOW!
BLESSED DEATH – DESTINED FOR EXTINCTION (Roadrunner/Roadracer Records,
1987) Take a glut of Black Sabbath. Add loads and loads of Slayer, combine
with the cast of Easy Rider and you have Blessed Death, a 5-piece of
bearded, hairy metal-heads from New Jersey that released one of the
wildest thrash/speed metal albums in the late 1980’s.
Destined for Extinction was their second album, their debut Kill or
be Killed released in 1985 a furious albeit messy affair, heavy on Sabbath
and Venom. Destined …, produced by Alex Perialas and recorded live at
the famous Pyramid Studio was fresher, crisper and a far more ferocious
beast than Kill …; indeed, the album still holds up today amid the Pro-Tools
Introducing the band – Larry Portelli on vocals, guitarists Jeff Anderson
and Nick Fiorentino, and identical twin rhythm section Kevin & Chris
Powelson on bass and drums respectively – these are the collected individuals
who came up with the opening riff to Digital War. It is not *just* a
riff – it’s a riff of monstrous proportions, an end-of-the-world riff
that churns and grinds its way into the lunatic noise that is their
brand of thrash metal. Portelli’s vocals range from deep growling to
high pitched screaming – not your average Glam band screeching, I mean
SCREAMING – have you ever heard a vocal performance more disturbing
than Pain Killer?
Yet it wasn’t all shouting and wailing guitar solos – occasionally
the band came back down to earth to let the listener breath; witness
the sombre moments of Incoming Wounded, one of the two tracks about
the Vietnam War. The track starts with a roar, blood-soaked lyrics decrying
the senselessness of young men sent off as cannon fodder: War machine
just keeps turning/Incoming wounded/Men are dying on this killing floor/Incoming
wounded/Take us out, stop the bleeding/Incoming wounded/Bring us back
to feed the war before a deceiving calm descends, the word ‘No’ harmoniously
sung over an ominous quiet. And then, naturally, back to the fray, the
listener bombarded with noise once more.
In 1987 a lot of thrash bands were moving away from the silliness
of Satan and joining their hardcore brethren by writing about contemporary
issues, such as the Reagan sponsored Star Wars program and the futility
of war. Blessed Death was no exception, and though they were never a
Satanic band to begin with their subject matter was based in gritty
realism – Death in the Sky, 10,000 Days of Bloodshed and Destruction’s
Eve realized this.
Yet regrettably, BD were another faceless band on the Roadrunner label,
who signed anything and (seemingly) everything connected with first
thrash metal and later death metal. With zero promotion the band were
left to their own devices to sell their album; unfortunately, as was
the case for many bands if you didn’t sell (and how could you without
that all-important record label push and a place on a popular tour?)
you were forgotten in favour of more popular/commercial bands and then
inevitably dropped. Gotta love the music business.
Nevertheless, for those in the know (and I’m hopeful that some of you
reading this will discover Blessed Death for the first time be in awe
of them as I first was and still am) they were a highpoint in 1980’s
thrash, and Destined … remains a heavy, almost psychedelic slab of insane
thrash metal to this day.
- Ken Blackmore
10,000 Days of Bloodshed live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYkuE7P87jc&feature=related
Digital War, Incoming Wounded & Pray for Death: http://www.mediafire.com/?oza2e7viti2558n
I can safely say that any band with a sentence for a name, 6 members
or more and carefully combed to the side hairdos are not metal no matter
what distortion pedal they have for their guitars."
Chris Reifert, Abscess/Autopsy
Unbelievable--this highly unheralded band has just released
a third album, of material recorded in 1991. This is the same bunch
who gave us Kill or Be Killed, and Destined for Extinction. This one
is called Hour of Pain, and I feel it is their best yet (though I haven't
heard D for E much).
Each album has a common thread, but also a definite
unique style. The early fare is part thrash, part old school metal,
even part proto-death. It deals with lyrically serious topics (no occult
or gore garbage), and has kind of a depressive feeling in places, and
an angry, militant feeling in others. The second album was pretty much
an all out thrash assault. This one is a subtle mixture. The near falsetto
(poor man's King Diamond) screams are back, but mixed with vastly improved
clean baritone vocals, mixed at other times with a gruff bluesy quality,
and even nearing proto-death material in places. The style is still
basically thrash, but it is brushed over with doom. There are stylings
of power metal, but only of a more strident and darker variety. (Three
chord bootstomp). Track Six has a vocal delivery which is tinged with
Ozzy. In fact, in places the thrash is slowed down a bit, almost dragging,
like someone couldn't quite leave Sabbath out of the picture. In other
places, it breaks out into almost Kreator Flag of Hate like thrash intensity,
and then crawls back into mid pace chugging. There are subtle variations
throughout, but it all holds together very well. There is one acoustic
number, which still works because it's gloomy, and here and there in
songs there are acoustic breaks. But everything comes off as very natural--it
doesn't leave you with that predictable "let's be really mellow/quasi
classical and then change gears feeling." In other words, the mellow
parts avoid pretense. I even noticed after the lengthy intro to song
one, that the atmosphere shifts almost into the kind of thing one finds
on some black metal--though in no way is the black metal, except insofar
as some early dark thrash stuff is occasionally referenced in black
metal discussions. But there is a similar atmosphere, for a brief time.
The gist is, the band has heightened the intense parts,
and become even more melodic, part passionate, in the more melodic parts
(most noticeable in the vocals). But there is a sense of urgency and
seriousness through the record, The production is sharp, and the mid-paced
material fairly meaty; it is far above the garage level (but still cool)
quality of Kill or Be Killed.
This is a band that deserves more recognition.
You can check out samples of Hour of Pain at CDBaby.
http://cdbaby.com/cd/blesseddeath PS Dig the cheesy, yet cool, old school
cover. Right on, brother! Does anyone else know this group? I special
ordered their debut on cassette back in the mid/late 80s.
Hour of Pain CD Review from METAL TO INFINITY:
February 2007 Released: 2006, Blessed Death
Productions Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Now this album really did surprise me way
more than my so sweet and innocent (or that´s what I thought as a kid)
grandmother in adult orientated shots in the ´50s. I of course am talking
about Blessed Death´s rumored, ´previously unreleased´ 3rd album that
was recorded by all the original band members back in 1991. Now this
album has finally been released by the band members themselves - and
I can only say it was about the time.
HOUR OF PAIN, containing of 11 songs (off
which 4 songs have been the band´s TERMINAL RAGE demo which they recorded
in 1990), is at least a very good album from Blessed Death even if it
quite cannot be no match to the band´s two previous albums, KILL OF
BE KILLED (´85) and DESTINED FOR EXTINCTION (´87) as those albums are
simply the classic era of Blessed Death. The 4 songs have been taken
from the TERMINAL RAGE demo, work out really nicely on the album, too.
Larry sounds as awesome as a vocalist as he has always done; intense
and aggressive just like an ideal Speed/Thrash Metal vocalist should
sound like in the first place. The man has got his own very trademark´ish
voice (and especially his high-pitched screams), and in my books of
admiration and appreciation, he has always belonged to the top league.
The songs from that demo have also stayed truthful to their original
demo compositions; there´s not much changes in them at all which is
As for the rest of the stuff on HOUR OF
PAIN, it´s got less aggression and intensity than the stuff on the T.R.
demo which doesn´t automatically mean they wouldn´t deliver the goods
well enough. Namely they do, and in fact, they do it really well. The
opening track, “Fallen Walls”, sounds epic and bombastic - and its creeping
atmosphere truly impresses its listener. At least that´s what it did
to me. It´s kinda different stuff what you could expect from Blessed
Death, but musically it´s still very pleasing stuff to my untouchable
ears anyway. I somehow cannot help praising Larry´s use of a very wide
range of his voice as he´s truly the one who gives Blessed Death its
very distinctive, well-recognizeable sound, and besides that he´s one
of the better Thrash Metal singers out there. Check out the title track
“Hour of Pain” off the album to become convinced about his TRUE singing
abilities. “Resurrection Earth” kicks old school thrasher´s butt so
much too that it almost feels a little crime to like this particular
song in question that much. The same words full of passionate and undivided
love go to a song called “Atomic Fear”. Blessed Death knew exactly how
to thrash... some 16 years ago already.
Too bad this is considered Blessed Death´s
last album because with the quality of the songs, I would have loved
to see them churning out even more albums after HOUR OF PAIN. To borrow
one known Judas Priest song I just wanna say as a last thing that you
have to be old enough to know how to thrash because in Blessed Death´s
case, it fits like a hit of an iron fist into your belly area. Did you
feel it, by the way?
My name is Joe Wyatt. I do a metal show
on WEOS FM in Geneva, NY. My friend just sent me a link to the website
to alert me that there is a new Blessed Death CD. I can't believe this
is actually happening. In the late 80's Blessed Death was one of my
all time favorite bands. I played the crap out of "Destined". One of
the highlights of the 80's was seeing the band play at the Penny Arcade
in Rochester, NY where the crowd was going absolutely crazy and started
ripping the ceiling tiles down. The owner of the club came out on stage
during one of the breaks between songs and told the crowd to stop or
the show was over. This lasted for the beginning of the next song when
the singer told everyone to first, stop destroying the ceiling, and
then to tear this place apart. Needless to say, the ceiling and fans
did not survive. I still tell this story on the air. I also just recently
found my autographed ticket stubb from that show. Great times!! Thanks
for the memories.
The new "Hour Of Pain" record is a fucking
monster. Blessed Death was one of the few bands that were truly and
honestly authentic. Your sound was completely all your own. Not only
that, from start to finish on this record there was not one heavy metal
clichet', you know, those little tricks or habits in picking or phrasing
that give you away as having studied a certian guitar player or band...
nothing, and that is 'really' saying something. There are bands that
model themselves after other bands, and there are bands to model yours
after. Blessed Death is certainly among the ranks of the latter.I dont
know what gear you were using but it is deep. It sounds like you guys
were using fucking 12 guage accoustic guitar strings! Talk about digging
in. None of that g.i.t. clitty tickling 8 guage arpreggio sweeping bullshit.
The attack is balls deep and on a mission. I cant stress strongly enough
how 'creative' this record is. Its god damned complicated too! complicated
without being pretentious though. not like in the dream theater 'we-know-more-theory-than-you-do-all-praise-our-greatness'
way, but in the way a walther machinist would tool the rifling on an
mp 38. It is complicated not for embellishment but out of necessity,
to express what needs to be said. - and on top of all of that is this
clean, fucking sweet engineering job. Fantastic production. Really different
direction in the vocal style also. It was unexpected and enjoyable.
On a personal note, that intro on fallen walls is damn near orchestral.
excellent composition. Phenomenal accomplishment. Well worth the wait.
Nick & Blessed Death,
Blessed Death was one of the best metal
bands to EVER walk the planet, in my opinion. I used to walk down old
country roads in West Virginia and blast "Kill Or Be Killed" over &
over. Then I moved to the southside of town when "Destined" came out,
and that used to be my fighting tape. We'd all blast it in the car before
we'd have to fight off all the dickheads on southside so, we could have
the park to scope out or hang with babes. Yep, the good ol' days....
Anyway, even today I still get goosebumps
when I listen to those albums. You guys had your own style an a very
big FUCK YOU attitude that put SO MANY other bands to shame. Still to
this day, many of the young bands could take a strong lesson from you.
To try and put thier OWN SOUL into thier music and not just thier fucking
record collection. We all take inspiration from other music, but BLESSED
DEATH had more to the sound, It possesses a strong sense of your life
at that time in the music. THAT is what makes good music, powerful &
Just really wanted to let you know that
I have always loved your guys' music and have always made sure to roll
one up, put on the lp, and blast it for those who had no idea who you
were & let them be engulfed in the atmosphere you guys would create
I certianly hope this message finds you
guys & your families in good health and happy. Whatever you guys are
into now, I certainly hope is bringing you happiness and that there
are many more people out there who feel as strongly as I do about the
wonderful music of the only & only BLESSED DEATH
All the best Cheers!
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