BLOOD STAR “First Sighting”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Coming out of the desert citadel of Salt Lake City and featuring a former guitarist of VISIGOTH, BLOOD STAR is the latest unit to throw their hat in the “traditional metal” ring. That’s getting to be a pretty big ring these days…

“First Sighting” is a little bit different because the JUDAS PRIEST/IRON MAIDEN/QUEENSRYCHE elements that so many modern true metallers rely on are not as pronounced. That in itself helps give them a bit of an edge. The sound is slightly more relaxed and rooted in 70’s metal/hard rock. There’s still plenty of hard and fast steel here, but tempered with a loose melody and an indefinable “homely” feeling. The production really has the sound of the elder days, too, and thank God triggers and digital shine seem to be absent. To top things off, BLOOD STAR has a female vocalist, Madeline Michelle, which is no longer that unusual, but she has a nice earthy voice that hits the right notes.

The songs are mostly upbeat and fast, but nothing that will rip heads off. Tunes like “No One Wins” and “All For Nothing” rock with a steady flow, while some tunes like “The Observers” (that features clean male vocals) and “Going Home” remind me of METAL CHURCH in how they inject a kind of sad and dark melody into their framework. But I have to admit, while the album is pleasant listening, nothing here approaches the level where I could use the phrase “stone cold classic”. 

If you’re tired of the constant PRIEST/MAIDEN clones and bombastic power metallers, BLOOD STAR might hit the spot.