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Music Review

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Cult Drugs


Artist: Blood Command
Label: Fysisk Format
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 April 2017

Blood Command describes itself as a Punk Rock band from Bergen, Norway (a location well-known for its Black Metal). It incorporates Karina Ljone on vocals, Yngve Anderson on guitar, bass, keyboard and backing vocals, Sigurd Haakaas on drums, and Simon Oliver Okland on bass and backing vocals. Since their beginnings in 2008 there has been three E.P.s and two full albums. After a minor line-up change their third album Cult Drugs is released via Fysisk Format. The tracks are: CTRL+ART+DELETE, Cult Drugs, Quitters Don’t Smoke, Nervous Laughter, Gang Signs, You Can’t Sit With Us, The Secret Impresses No One, White Skin/Tanned Teeth, Initiation Tape #1, (The World Covered in) Purple Shrouds...

Strangely, my musical tastes have become progressively heavier through the years. I have two stipulations regarding new material: It must have energy and melody. This release has both in spades. My first thought upon playing this through is ‘Oh, my word! How have I managed to let this band’s material pass me by?’ It’s always refreshing to discover a new sound; something that wakes-up your senses, has plenty of raw power, and doesn’t always go in the direction you might expect. Blood Command is easily the best combo I’ve come across for a while… and they’ve been active for nearly ten years!

I think they are doing themselves an injustice by simply describing themselves as Punk Rock. It’s much more a blend of Rock/Metal sub-genres. Imagine Green Day, but heavier and less predictable – and even that doesn’t do their originality sufficient justice. The tone of the vocals is comfortably conducive to the overall sound but, in turn, they rise to a melodic scream and lower to a chorus-like hook which you can grab onto and be pulled along for the ride.

I have checked-out a couple of YouTube clips of the band playing live and there doesn’t seem to be quite the amount of relentless energy (aside from the brilliantly manic drummer) that is present on this studio recording. Whether that is down to pacing themselves for an entire set or something else entirely, I have no idea. It’s a curious thing. However, as this review should be strictly about the Cult Drugs album I’ll put anything else to one side.

Preferring to make up my own mind first, I gave it a few days before researching other critiques, but was pleased to find Blood Command has garnered almost universally rave reviews. Let me tell you it is entirely deserved. The band has created something very special. Tracks 2 to 8 are nigh-on perfect compositions realised with spot-on impact. The remaining songs are not far behind; I can even forgive the experimental final track, featuring trumpet with a Spanish-like introduction and ending.

The bottom line is I have this album virtually playing on a loop in my car. It’s fresh, it’s vibrant, it has attitude… and I can’t recommend it enough. I’m off now to order the previous two albums, Ghostclocks, and Funeral Beach!


Ty Power

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