Blood Tsunami - Grand Feast for Vultures
Candlelight Records
Thrash/Death Metal
7 songs (51'20")
Release year: 2009
Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Alex

I’ll start my review for the second Blood Tsunami album with the thought I had going when reviewing their debut. When you are naming your first full-length release Thrash Metal, you are in for a claim, and, in my view, Blood Tsunami managed to back it up. The purists, as usual, were hard to please, some feeling an unnecessarily thick touch of modernity in the version of this venerable genre proposed by the Norwegians. To those who felt the thrash ended with Master of Puppets and Rust in Piece, and those who felt Blood Tsunami were wrong treading to close to the familiar Slayer riffs, the news will be worse on Grand Feast for Vultures. Far from divorcing their original influences, the band got heavier, drifted even further away from the classic interpretation of thrash, barging into death metal territory on occasion, their sound getting bigger and angrier at the same time.

The combination of Bay Area and Teutonic thrash still buttresses the Blood Tsunami foundation. The title track still brings up Slayer references, and as heavy as the entrance is, the song still managed to go on a roller coaster guitar ride. Laid to Waste measures up to the modern day Kreator, anchored at the bottom with the gloomy crunchy riff over which the wacko crazy lead glides away. However, Personal Exorcism and, especially, Nothing but Contempt veer too close to Kataklysm. Personal Exorcism pulls back the speed and has pretty distinct tremolo in its melodic chorus set to a double bass beat. Nothing But Contempt could have been a thrashier Kataklysm song, although the Pride of Quebec would have annihilated on the middle breakdown. The analogy particular sticks, as Blood Tsunami quite often goes for the dual vocal approach on Grand Feast for Vultures. Neither the stifled screamoshrieks nor the deeper growl is classic thrash vocals, and it is the aforementioned Canadians who use this contrast very effectively.

The sound of Grand Feast for Vultures is also meatier, deathier, for the lack of better term, but no less cutting and biting than Thrash Metal was. The depth and layering works when the music is slower and brooding, when One Step Closer to the Grave unleashes its forceful growing circular riffs. The end of that song must be killer in live situation. At the same time, no one could accuse Pete Evil and Dor Amazon that they forgot how to play their guitars and rely on production to carry them through. If anything, I can hear many yelling that the instrumental Eceladus Rising is way too long and unfocused, a series of sweeping kaleidoscopic guitar moments wondering aimlessly. Yet for me the intrigue remained for the duration and the composition certainly does not feel like another song for which the band simply forgot to write the lyrics.

Not a complete mindblower, Grand Feast for Vultures is in no way a clunker. Still sticking to their style of making songs longer than traditional thrash, Blood Tsunami took their time exploring the ideas they had. Faust is still in good shape drumming, many a song had memorable riffs, notice one coming on the opener Castle of Skulls, right after the marching breakdown. Not an unexpected surprise like Thrash Metal was, Grand Feast for Vultures is a growth album for the band, with the evolution of Blood Tsunami taking a wider path than a simple straight thrash line.

Killing Songs :
Castle of Skulls, Laid to Waste, One Step Closer to the Grave
Alex quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Blood Tsunami that we have reviewed:
Blood Tsunami - Thrash Metal reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
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