January 7, 2019 Bloody Times – On A Mission (Album Review)
One of Heavy Metal’s first offerings for the new year, German band Bloody Times are set to release their sophomore effort, On A Mission, Friday, January 11, 2019.
Perhaps unheard of to many U.S. based Metal fans, Bloody Times began in 2014 when Bassist Simon Pfundstein used the name to label a compilation of riffs and demos he had recorded on his own. Though Pfundstein never initially intended to form a band, Bloody Times gradually progressed into a full-time project. Fresh blood, Pfundstein recruited Drummer Raphael Saini (ex-Iced Earth) and together the pair released Bloody Times’ debut album, The Fire of Immortality, in late 2016. Seeking a full-time singer, Bloody Times hired yet another former member of Iced Earth, Vocalist John Greely – Iced Earth’s frontman on 1991’s Night of the Stormrider.
Feeling something good going on, Bloody Times entered the studio in 2017 to commence writing and recording on the band’s next album. As Bloody Times began to grow, the band welcomed eight, yes eight more musicians into the family. Most notably, Bloody Times was honored to bring in legendary Guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman – former member and architect of mythological Heavy Metal band Manowar.
Not to be forgotten, Bloody Times rounded out their lineup with Keyboardist Rudiger Weib and a mob of five more guitarists who joined the fray – Judas (rhythm guitar), Kikidakis S. Nickolas (solo guitar), Balasz Fleischhauer (rhythm/solo guitar), Marco Cossu of INEXHIBIT (rhythm/solo guitar), and Rainer Pfundstein of Big Mama (rhythm/solo guitar). In a few words, Bloody Times are an old-school crew out to pay tribute to true, classic Heavy Metal, and keep its legacy alive.
Ready to strike some Metal, Bloody Times entered the studio alongside seasoned Producer OGrego (Winter’s Dawn, Necrogasm, Emerald) who was at the helm, mixing and mastering what would become the album On A Mission. A swarm of nine new cuts, On A Mission is a collection of straight up, no frills Heavy Metal which takes on topics such as retaliation, war, and dark history. A call of duty, On A Mission starts off with the eight minute long “Alliance.” A solid Metal piece, Greely screams to intro a steady course of slow, dramatic guitar work, and a lyrical context about committing to a brotherhood.
In line with the subject matter, a thrashy “Fort Sumter” defends its territory while “Die in a Hole” implores to “Survive or Die.” Next, Bloody Times remake “Curse of Genevieve,” a track off The Fire of Immortality. Then, storytelling keyboard opens “Future Secret” before the muddy bass of “Operation Focus” helps Bloody Times say “Refuel and Fight.” Moving along, “The Warning (Until Blood Boils Pt. 1)” is a devilish walk into the heavy reprisal of “The Revenge (Until Blood Boils Pt. 2).” Lastly, “Day of Collapse” tackles the sobering memory of September 11, 2001 through stirring riffs and melodies (“200,000 tons of steel fallen to the ground”).
To sum it up, On A Mission offers its fair share of respectable Heavy Metal riffs alongside lyrics which paint a clear picture of the direction Bloody Times is looking to portray via the band’s sophomore LP. Fans of Bloody Times should give On A Mission a chance, as it sees the band grow musically thanks to some new faces and more cohesive song choices. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives On A Mission 3 out of 5 stars.