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Album Review

Despite their youth, the members of As Blood Runs Black spent several years digesting various influences and honing their chops before recording their 2006 debut, Allegiance — a situation which largely explains the contradiction between its advanced musicianship but, at times, both immature and convoluted songwriting. The album's enticing and foreboding intro suggests black metal, yet restlessly assembled ensuing tracks like "In Dying Days," "The Brighter Side of Suffering" and "My Fears Have Become Phobias" quickly alert the listener to expect the unexpected, as the musicians fling themselves around a mosh pit propelled by several different metallic subgenres. The latter track, for instance, is an absolute smorgasbord: following a flurry of death metal riffs with intermittent displays of Cookie Monster grunts and hardcore shout-outs, then launching into a melodious trad metal guitar solo before descending into a blastbeat driven grindcore finale, complete with unintelligible burped vocals. At least the words spouted by all these different voices (and helpfully printed out within) remain relatively consistent with hardcore's usual themes of independent thought and self-empowerment, mixed with a smidgeon of emo-style bitching (a sign of the band's generation, it almost can't be helped). But by the time the album's ten tracks conclude (the second half possessing nowhere near the first half's distinguishing qualities), an overall allegiance (pun intended) to the melodic metalcore clique led by Killswitch Engage and Unearth does become apparent. Ultimately, the band's instrumental prowess is a highlight in itself, and most listeners will find that whatever As Blood Runs Black still lack in terms of ingenious songwriting, they mostly make up for with pure adrenalin.

Customer Reviews

No competition

Legit this is still the best album of deathcore til today's date, maybe their new album that comes out in a few weeks will finally compare.


Formed: 2001 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Based out of Los Angeles, CA, As Blood Runs Black melds several extreme metal subgenres (death, black, thrash, metalcore) into their own violent style. Formed in 2001 and comprising vocalist Chris Blair, guitarist Ernie Flores, bassist Nick Stewart, and drummer Lech(e), the band...
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