Blood Knife comes from Boston, which is famous for the many, many bands it is currently pumping out. Unlike many of those bands, Blood Knife doesn’t go in a thrash direction, and instead opts for a relatively standard heavy metal sound. “Tastes Like Skin” is their new EP, and ends up being a mixed bag. Make no mistake, there are moments on this EP that will induce whiplash, but not every second of the release is killer.
“Incinerator” is the first song, and is probably the strongest of the first three. It opens with a mid-paced heavy riff, but the song displays a more aggressive approach later on. The guitar solo is both melodic and dazzling, and is followed by a slight bass solo. Despite the great musicality of this song, it also presents the weak link of Blood Knife: the vocals. This track features both clean and harsh vocals; the clean are more prominent than the harsh, though the latter are very competent and quite enjoyable. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the singing. This style of vocals is not particularly conducive to metal, and I would even liken them to something like grunge before metal. Blood Knife’s vocalist has neither a soaring range, nor an aggressive bark; instead, he uses a passive-aggressive tone that is closer to Soundgarden than it is Judas Priest.
With that said, it is worth fighting through the vocals to get to the music because there is a slew of solid riffs. “Take His Face Off” picks up where the first song finished with some heavy, enjoyable riffs. The prominence of the bass in the mix of this song really adds to the performance, as well as the fantastic use of double bass towards the end of the track. The third song is largely in the same vein as the two that preceded it, though not quite as potent. “Onslaughter”, the closer of the EP, is an instrumental that shows the band at their best. This song has by far the fastest and thrashiest riffing and even a harmonized section, mixed amongst the band’s typical sound. It is always difficult to be put in a situation where the singer has to go, but “Onslaughter” clearly reveals it is for the best. If non-metal vocals don’t particularly bother you, “Tastes Like Skin” is well worth a shot.
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3.2/5 or 64%.