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Guillotine - "Blood Money" (CD)

Guillotine - "Blood Money" CD cover image

"Blood Money" track listing:

1. Insane Oppression
2. Rebellion
3. Insanity
4. Liar
5. Die/Live
6. Skeleton City
7. Madness (Instrumental)
8. Dying World
9. Welcome To Dying (Death, Destruction & Pain)
10. War
11. Our Darkest Day
12. Blood Money

Reviewed by on June 24, 2009

"In-your-face intensity and old-school stylings make this a solid and welcome return by Guillotine."

Guillotine was formed in Sweden in 1995 as a thrash metal side project of guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Mannberg and bassist Nils Eriksson, both of Nocturnal Rites. After releasing one album, 1997’s “Under the Guillotine,” Guillotine was disbanded as Nocturnal Rites was still the primary focus of Mannberg and Eriksson. Guillotine was brought back to life in 2007 and 2008’s “Blood Money” is the band's first release in 11 years. The current line up also includes Persuader guitarist Daniel Sundbom and drummer Efraim Juntunen.

The album cover depicting corrupt, political, money-hogs standing in ruined surroundings, gives off a nice old-school flavor as it wasn’t photoshopped and is straight to the point. The themed artwork, title of “Bloody Money” and a quick skim of the song titles had me anticipating an album lyrically focused on the negatives of politics - war, corruption, death, suffering - all pretty standard thrash themes.

Musically, if high quality, no-bullshit, face-melting thrash is what you‘re looking for, “Blood Money” delivers just that. It is chock full of buzzsaw riffs, harmonic leads, blistering solos, bombastic drumming and fierce vocals. Within seconds of the opening track, "Insane Oppression," it becomes apparent that Kreator and Destruction are the primary influences here. Some of the lyrics are kind of dorky, but they are all delivered with conviction and made believable.

The third track, and one of my favorites on the album, "Insanity," has a great feel throughout. It begins with a montage of several news reporters reporting an event and leading into a steady verse riff with solos acting as transitions between verses with a catchy chorus. It's nothing new, but a well written and executed song.

My biggest complaint of “Blood Money” is that though it is a great “in-the-moment” album, individual songs don’t really stick with you until after many repeated listens. A few riffs and choruses did at first, but whole songs did not. There also isn’t a lot of variety between the songs either. Aside from the clean intro in “Madness,” the song structures and riff/solo qualities are all very similar throughout. There are also times when listening to the album that I had to remind myself that I wasn’t listening to Kreator or Destruction - though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Overall, “Blood Money” is a great addition to this current so called “thrash revival.” In-your-face intensity and old-school stylings make this a solid and welcome return by Guillotine. Though the songs might not be the most original or varied, this is still a solid album that one can enjoy thrashing their brains out to. With each listen I find myself enjoying this album more.

A few stand out tracks include “Insanity,” “Liar,” “Die/Live” and the title track “Blood Money.”

Highs: High quality thrash that keeps your attention.

Lows: Not the most memorable or original album.

Bottom line: High quality thrash that keeps your attention and has you wanting more.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)