Shepherd of Souls

Bleeding Gods

The Netherlands is renowned for producing some of the finest Thrash and Death Metal bands […]
By Danny Sanderson
February 12, 2015
Bleeding Gods - Shepherd of Souls album cover

The Netherlands is renowned for producing some of the finest Thrash and Death Metal bands in Europe. Everything from the more Brutal forms of Death Metal like BODYFARM to the likes of THANATOS has come from this particular corner of Europe. BLEEDING GODS are a band that combine Death and Thrash Metal to great results. They are just about to release their first full length album, "Shepherd of Souls" on Punishment 18 Records. How does this album stand up to the standards set by their contemporaries?

The opening track, "Abyss of the World", is a brilliant piece of Death Metal with a distinctive Thrash guitar hooks to it, and an amazingly slow, eerie guitar solo which just fits the rest of the song so perfectly. For an Extreme Metal track, it's quite catchy, and the vocals are more or less designed to be sung along to live. Likewise, "Into the Depths of Misery" takes the speed and musicianship of Thrash and couples it with the aggression and power of Death Metal, resulting in an absolute beast of a tune. The album's title track is, to say the least, a solid, amazing track from start to finish. It's been a long time since I've heard music like this played with such confidence and passion on all instruments. This is sure to become the cornerstone of the band's live set for years to come.

"Rise From Ashes" leans significantly more towards the Thrash Metal side of the bands sound, although there is some characteristic Death Metal chugs in there. "Ixmucane (I)" is a short acoustic track with spoken word parts instead of vocals which works very well, and serves as an introduction of shorts for the track that follows, "The Lords of Xibalba (II)"; this is a very strong Thrash song, which is a pretty strong contenders for the best song on this record. It transitions from razor sharp, speed driven riffs to a slow chug in a matter of moments at some points, and you genuinely can't tell what the music is going to do next. "Glorious Relentless Destiny" is a song that does exactly what it says on the tin; it's glorious (or as glorious as a Death/Thrash Metal song can be), and it's relentless in its heaviness. The eighth and ninth tracks, "Empire of the Immortals" and "Human Weakness" are fairly straight forward pieces of Thrashy Death Metal that are fairly good tracks in their own right, but sadly don't stand out that much in comparison with some of the other amazing tracks on here. The final track, "Symbolic Sculptures", is a more mid-paced song than the rest of the album, and has a lot of great guitars, drums and vocals on it. It's a good end to a good album.

This is a great first album for this band. They clearly have a strong idea of what they want to sound like, and they have the musicianship and talent to bring that to life. I seriously hope that their next album is as good, or hopefully even better, than this one. If you like Thrash infused Death Metal, then "Shepherd of Souls" will definitely turn you into a part of this bands ever-growing flock.

8 / 10


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"Shepherd of Souls" Track-listing:

1. Abyss of the World
2. Into the Depths of Misery
3. Shepherd of Souls
4. Rise From Ashes
5. Ixmucane (I)
6. The Lords of Xibalba (II)
7. Glorious Relentless Destiny
8. Empire of the Immortals
9. Human Weakness
10. Symbolic Sculptures

Bleeding Gods Lineup:

Edwin van der Eeden - Drums
Erwin Harreman - Guitars
Ramon Ploeg - Guitars
Gea Mulder - Bass
Mark Huisman - Vocals

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