Poison My Blood touts themselves as “Progressive Metallic Hardcore”. In a way, that is a very fair assessment of the style. After listening to this album over and over, I have begun to change my distaste for all the subgenres that keep popping up (why cant techno just be techno? Now we have trance, trip hop, dubstep (ugh, dubstep)). This band has led me to believe that we need a new category: BRUTAL.
Poison My Blood hails from Landen, Belguim, with a sound that puts the small nation on the map. The Countess EP is a 5 track, almost 20 minute experience in adrenaline, frenzy and breakneck speed. As a fan of not overdoing and overcrowding one’s sound, Poison My Blood has hit the sound and structure right on the head. The guitars scream a real visceral, almost dirty tone to their punishing grooves. The guitar work itself is not the most complicated work around, but that is certainly not a knock against the band or their work. At times, the guitar work feels almost pedestrian with its typically power chord based riffage. Pairing that with the break downs of cleaner cut, stop breaks of guitar power and discordant upper register squealing really defines just how great simple can be.
The bass and drum work in this album is simple sounding on the surface, but a deeper listen dictates otherwise. The drum work is very tight and is well orchestrated to make the EP sound like perfect brutal harmony. A slight bit of overuse of the crash cymbal can be a bit distracting, but not enough to really hurt this album i the points category. Mini drum interludes pepper this EP throughout, giving a change of tempo that hits like a two by four to the face. Just as the chugging guitars move you to 100 miles per hour, the guitars drop out, leaving drum and bass to rip you from your lull and bring you back in. Take the song Obey the Sirens. tempo changes, brutality to quietness, and screaming to less brutal screaming take the listener for a ride of ups and downs that is a true joy to endure.
The vocals add to the mayhem with a great balance of screaming to loud raspy singing. The vocals fit the sound perfectly. After all, you can’t have dirty sounding instruments and then crystal clear vocals. Thankfully, Poison My Blood understands this. As for lyrical content, I was constantly drawn away from the lyrical content by the punishing guitars and drums. After a deeper focus, the vocals are the somewhat pedestrian n content, but I don’t see that as a negative. Not everything needs to be profound, Gandhi type stuff.
The production on this album, like mentioned before is raw and unrefined, but not unfinished. Cleaning up the sound would have led to serious overproduction which can be a death blow to an otherwise great album. The songs blend into one another seamlessly for one thrilling ride. All of a sudden, twenty minutes have gone by, productivity has been thrown out the window, but its ok! The loss of time is worth every second and more with this release. I anxiously await further releases from Poison My Blood.