NO SPILL BLOOD "Eye of Night"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Here's an album that once again proves the virtues of traveling outside your comfort zone and investigating music just a little bit different. 

NO SPILL BLOOD is an Irish trio that plays metal...or do they? Conventional wisdom has it that metal requires distorted lead guitar. With this band, there is no lead guitar. There is drum and bass...a combination that often has produced heavy music without addition of guitar...but most importantly, there are synthesizers and a lot of them. The synths here take the place of the axe and are used to produced riffs and song structures that often...but not always...resemble heavy metal. Anybody who's heard NINE INCH NAILS and ORGY can confirm synths can let loose with some ungodly thick and fat sounds.

NO SPILL BLOOD are clearly metal fans. One listen to the huge, throbbing riffs of the title track can hear that. The track even has the urgency of thrash to it. Whereas "Dead Satellite" is clearly the doom song of the set, ominously plodding and rumbling along. "Eye Of Night" has a restless feel to it, as the band is not content to stay in any particular lane. KILLING JOKE is an obvious influence, best heard in the raw and angry vocals. "Cradle Scythe" starts the album with a HUGE burst of power-packed deep synth, leading directly into the propulsive and urgent sounding "Anvil Crawler". Even the song titles have the taste of steel in them.

Yet there's more than just an admiration of metal here. Synth punk, kraut rock and cinematic soundscapes also get a look in. "Ad Unguem" has a piston-like, repetitive bass-drum attack that layers of synth overlap. "Cimmerian Maw" is more of a cinematic, icy sounding soundscape and even the short instrumentals "Toom" and "-" have their own identities and uneasy feel.

"Eye Of Night" is a real journey and exploration from a most interesting band. If you can accept that proposition that metal doesn't necessarily need lead guitar, you'll find it quite the ride.