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Blood Feast – Kill For Pleasure


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One of the greatest dangers of an underground metal scene driven by nostalgia is its tendency to inflate the value of nearly any recording written and released during a particular period in time. So it goes in recent years for the early death metal stuff, and so before that it went for the Golden Era thrash metal. Second and third tier bands (at best) are showered with credit, failed records misremembered as successful, and buying trends produce loads of reissues, which is honestly the best part of the phenomena, since it puts some real gems back into print. New Jersey's Blood Feast, through no fault of its own, is certainly one of many indistinct thrash bands of the 80s to have garnered some buzz due to their placement in history. I can faintly remember a little discussion of Chopping Block Blues (their superior sophomore effort) in high school, thanks to one other student owning the cassette, but these fellas were hardly front page news…and for a reason. Now, before the hair gets ruffled and the panties bunched, I'm not advocating that Blood Feast was some horribly incompetent band. As far as the New Renaissance Records roster, Kill for Pleasure was a rather middle of the road release, hardly the nadir of a label which produced only a handful of gems. For me, though, two of those particular gems, Indestroy's self-titled and debut and the North American release of Sepultura's Morbid Visions help exemplify exactly what it is I don't enjoy about the Blood Feast debut. Both had comparable, filthy speed/thrash aesthetics which could easily be filed under the proto-black/death metal category. Both brimmed with fun, unforgettable songs, dirty and distinct vocals and hooks that felt at the minimum threatening and at most downright Goddamned evil. Kill for Pleasure, on the other hand, just sounds like someone closely memorized a bunch of Slayer songs, trimmed out the infernal nuances that made them so revelatory and unique, and applied a vocalist who at best could be said as a more grotesque attempt to one-up Jeff Becerra of Possessed. Sure, everyone was influenced by Slayer, but if I had a dime for all the half assed Black Magic riffs here I'd have made back my money for the record. To dub this debut a bargain bin backup for Hell Awaits and Seven Churches might seem a cruelty or disservice to some, but it's nonetheless the honest truth. But let me step back and talk about what I feel Blood Feast actually had going for them. For one, though horror influences persisted in the hard rock/heavy metal scene as early as the 60s (potentially earlier), the sort of 70s/80s inspired splatter metal was still pretty fresh by the time Kill for Pleasure rolled out. In fact, part of the charm anyone would feel for this or Chopping Block Blues is the nostalgia for the endless slasher sequels and forbidden mock cannibal VHS tapes that started to thrive through this particular decade. The lyrics here largely revolve around films and stories of serial killers, mythical creatures of the night, and occult fuelled apocalypses. It's Halloween metal for those individuals who privately venerate the holiday over the course of the entire year. That doesn't make it incredibly unique in the 80s, but bands like Blood Feast were unquestionably blueprints for the throngs of thousands of gore or kitsch-horror obsessed death metal mavens to follow. If Kill for Pleasure wasn't an inspiration for the roster of Razorback records, for example, I would be completely shocked. So that sense of antiquated slasher atmosphere and brutality permeates the experience here, and really makes me wish to like it more than I do… Track listing: 1. Menacing Thunder 2. Kill For Pleasure 3. Cannibal 4. Vampire 5. Suicidal Mission 6. Venomous Death 7. The Evil 8. The Darkside 9. R.I.P.

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New Renaissance

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