Album Reviews

EP Review: Blood Command – Return of the Arsonist

Blood Command Return of the Arsonist


Releae Date: 12.04.19

Label: Fysisk Format

For Fans Of: Marmozets, Every Time I Die, Kvelertak


In an ideal timeline Blood Command would be one of the biggest bands in the world. Since 2010 the self-labelled ‘deathpop’ group have been blending a hardcore punk attitude, death metal screams, and pop music’s melody to create a sound that is so danceable and palatable, yet still so raw that it really is one of the great mysteries of the universe that they haven’t gone on to huge things, yet.  There is hope, however as over the past few years, particularly since the release of third album, ‘Cult Drugs’ in 2017, an extra few coals seem to have been added to the fire and Blood Command are now a force which seem to be gathering momentum in the wider world. As we await their fourth full-length album, the Norwegians have treated us with a fourth EP to tide us over until then.

‘Return of the Arsonist’ has been promoted as a ‘spiritual successor’ to 2011’s ‘Hand Us The Alpha Male’ and although listening to the two releases back to back doesn’t make it immediately clear how they align, it does highlight just how much Blood Command have grown in the past eight years. Almost every aspect of the band has improved in that time; the hooks are bigger, the synths used to much greater effect, and though the vocals might have lost a little bit of grit, but have gained so much more power. Just take the chorus of the titular ‘…Return.Of.The.Arsonist…’ which soars into the stratosphere and is basically a pop/dance song with a punk-rock filter on it, complete with ‘whoas’, a pounding bassline and a main melody of synths. There are times where the growls and screams might mask the actual lyrics, but there is no denying the vocal melodies themselves.

If at this point you were worrying that maybe Blood Command had left their more anarchic side behind then ‘Live Right or go Straight to Hell’  and ‘No Thank You, I’m More in to Fake Grindcore’ , will alleviate any nerves as they both roar out of the blocks with verses as heavy and aggressive as any the band have ever released. The former crams in enough riffs to compete with an Every Time I Die track; and the later (along with being a contender for song title of the year) adds in a dreamy synth bridge and outro in a way that is never jarring or out of place, showing how expertly and well crafted their sound is.

The stand-out highlight of the EP comes right at the end with ‘Afraid of Water’  those opening 10 seconds alone should be enough to convince anyone why this band needs to be paid attention. This track takes everything that makes Blood Command so special, the attitude, the hooks, and the power; and condenses it into three minutes leaving you wondering why the hell this track isn’t being plastered all over radio and begging for more.

‘Return of the Arsonist’ is thirteen minutes of music that is so revitalising and uplifting that it could probably replace your morning coffee. It demonstrates just how far Blood Command have come and as a stopgap between full-length albums should leave you feeling incredibly excited about what could come next. If this EP is anything to go by then it is going to be very special indeed.

Rating: 9/10

Recommended Tracks: ‘Afraid of Water’, ‘No Thank You, I’m More in to Fake Grindcore’

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