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Guillotine – Blood Money

Label: Pulverised Records
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
When I first heard “Blood Money”, the second album from Guillotine the reunited Swedish thrash metal band featuring Nils Eriksson (bass) and Fredrik Mannberg (rhythm guitar) of Nocturnal Rites, I thought “man this sounds like it could be Kreator” and oddly enough I discover when the vocals kick in that Fredrik does have a similar tonal quality to Mille from Kreator. I also hear a dash of Tom Angelripper from Sodom. Its really a good mix of both voices.

Musically, it’s a full on assault of well constructed thrash with attention to riffs riffs (did I say RIFFS), beats, pacing, changes, grooves, and soloing (check out “Liar”) that decapitates. Along with the band Warbringer from Cali USA (and while we are on the subject also check out an up and coming talent from Brooklyn, NY, called Exit to Eternity) , Guillotine are one of my favorites to recapture this old school thrash style and sound without sounding dated at all. “Blood Money” offers twelve tracks of classic 80s thrash both of German and American (think Exodus of today with Rob dukes singing) influence.

“Insane Oppression” and “Rebellion” hit at full speed including a change or two in the tempo for that needed variety. “Insanity” may be my favorite track as the beginning builds momentum to the excellent riff and mid pace groove that will drop on your head and take it off like the torture devise the band is named after. The chorus is great too with those accompanying melodic leads. Tell me the beginning part of “Die/Live” doesn’t remind you of “Over the Wall” from Testament? Again, another nice change in the tempo. “Skeleton City” rolls along nicely in its pacing and includes another great melodic based solo. Instrumental “Madness” adds dynamics prior to “Dying World” and the song’s balancing act between the extreme aggressive and melodic parts.

Production wise, “Blood Money” is awesome. Clean and clear with a focus on riffs and a great snap to the drums with a pounding bottom end. It reminds me of an Andy Sneap (recording engineer, mixing master, all around studio genus) product. Properly rounding out the disc is artwork created by non other than Ed Repka who has previously put brush to canvas for some of heavy metal’s most famous and striking album covers for bands like Megadeth, Venom, Death and Possessed, among many others.


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