California metal band First Blood follow up their previous 2 albums Killafornia and Silence is Betrayal with Rules, 12 new tracks that have the word Rules in the title of each song. Formed in 2002 they are not quiet in coming forward having made a big impact and supporting more established acts from the start, there successful start is partly due the experience of band member’s previous bands. This new offering is powerful, aggressive and downright angry, as if an army sergeant had set up a gig for your first days training.
We are not so much eased in to the album by the first track Fuck the Rules, more like hung out the window by the feet to the sound of a chorus of rules. A head on crash straight into the next song These are the Rules, there is no let up until mid way through the track which slows up to take a quick breath. The heavy beats on the drums and deep bass are a constant reminder that you aren’t drifting off anywhere while we are playing, the vocals verge on the edge of pain spitting every word with a vengeance. Rules of conviction start with a more isolated vocal over the guitar; this slowly builds to a crescendo of metal assaulting your inner ear. The piano on Rules of Justice is slow and methodical playing behind a speech describing how the world has failed its children, a quiet statement that is then taken over by a hail of bullets from Carl Schwartz vocal chords. We come to an end with a very informative track about human tragedy, Rules of Crisis is often sad, often angry but always soothingly powerful to the distant ending.
First Blood share their protests, energy and anger on this album, they make no mistake in hitting the target with the fast deep sound that the devil would play on his mp3 player. The album is inter cut with statements delivering a message to those who will listen; the content is as heavy as the music which reaches the core like landmine on a stroll.