CD Bloodrock (CD 1208742),
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  • 1. Gotta Find a Way
    2. Castle of Thoughts
    3. Fatback
    4. Double Cross
    5. Timepiece
    6. Wicked Truth
    7. Gimme Your Head
    8. Fantastic Piece of Architecture
    9. Melvin Laid an Egg
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 4534

  • Credits

    1969 saw the first rumblings of heavy metal with debut releases from bands like Black Sabbath and Grand Funk Railroad. Bloodrock, a Texas-based quintet, also released their debut during this time (and like Grand Funk Railroad, they were managed and produced by Terry Knight). Bloodrock may not be as well remembered today as the aforementioned groups, but their first release remains a cult favorite amongst fans of hard rock. Their sound is reminiscent to Deep Purple, with electric guitar and organ dueling over a throbbing beat. However, Jim Rutledge's gruff, whisky-throated vocals lend a rural tinge to the group's music that sets them apart. As expected for a heavy metal band, the songwriting themes tend to be pretty ominous: "Double Cross" is a gleeful hymn to revenge, and "Timepiece" recounts the final thoughts of a death row prisoner about to be sent to the gallows. The band doesn't always know when to edit their jams ("Timepiece"), and some of the songs feel more like a collection of riffs than fully thought out compositions ("Wicked Truth"), but the group's powerful attack helps smooth over the rough spots to make an engaging slab of proto-metal. The album's highlights are the final two songs: "Fantastic Piece of Architecture" uses an a combination of Doors-like funereal organ and piano to create a creepy atmosphere, and "Melvin Laid an Egg" blends pile-driving riffs with gentle bridges of piano and harmony vocals to bring its surreal lyric about a freak show dwelling capitalist to life. Overall, Bloodrock lacks the crossover appeal to win fans outside of its cult reputation, but it remains an interesting listen for those interested in the development of heavy metal. ~ Donald Guarisco

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