Unholy Cross

AFM Records 2011

Sweden is well known for its burgeoning scene of traditional and power metal bands, and Bloodbound is another in this proud lineage of like-minded musicians.  Unholy Cross is their fourth full-length album and continues to showcase their flair for melodic theatrics.  The album opens strong with the power and majesty of Moria.  The track has an overall epic feel with a slow build that erupts into galloping melodies and the soaring chorus.  The bridge simmers until the chorus swoops upwards filling me with an intense need to sing along.  Drop the Bomb utilizes a Dio-esque vocal pattern until the poppy Helloween chorus coats the track with sugar (but in a good way).  Revving up the power is Reflections of Evil.  A pulsing bass guitar and muted vocals burst into an Iron Maiden-ish main section and a total operatic Helloween chorus.  Sometimes I feel some of the songs aren't as interesting as the others, In For The Kill is a good example.  However this is well made up for on such melodic power shredders like The Dark Side Of Life with its heavy guitars and majestic vocal performance on the chorus.  But the high-point of the album is the charging cavalry brigade of a song Message From Hell.  Complete Helloween worship, some fretwork gymnastics buried in there along with another soaring choral performance.  Bloodbound are experts at writing insanely engrossing chorus' that possess you to sing along, even if it's your first time hearing the song.  This skill is showcased perfectly on In The Dead Of Night.  This album takes me back to when I was listening to the Keepers era Helloween, but with slightly modernized sound and dynamics.  Unholy Cross is an album of catchy power metal in its truest form.  So don't feel ashamed, sing along to these power anthems.