Blood Warrior: Blood Warrior
Every once in a while, maybe twice a year or so, I come across an album that drives me to mass email, IM, or Facebook message a select group of my musically-inclined (and vaguely elite) friends with a succinct “OMG you must listen to this,” accompanied by a link to said artist’s website or–ahem–a few tracks of the album itself. Most recently, I bombarded these friends with Blood Warrior.
The band’s self-titled debut album necessitated this action from the moment the opening track, “Blood Letting,” spawned from my headphones. Now, stay with me, the band’s apparent sanguine motif plays only a subtle note in this complex album (and the eponymous Mortal Kombat-inspired arcade game perhaps even less, if you’re wondering). Charged yet restrained, Blood Warrior lays haunting melodies against a backdrop of just enough angst for a startlingly elegant and vast soundscape.
With influences as far-reaching as bluegrass, jazz, punk, and hint of sea shanty for good measure, Blood Warrior traverses equally disparate evocations, as the album ebbs and flows with severity of a rocking ship: the chilling, anthemic “Blood Letting” leads into the lengthy “Choir,” the kind of protracted yet humble ballad often reserved for an album’s denouement; the hearty nostalgia of “Snake Seer” drowns in the despondent cries of “Heaven.” Greg Jamie’s wavering vocals echo this jarring oscillation, delivering a methodical, consuming arrangement.
Blood Warrior is a band to watch, holding its ground with this debut release and giving these musicians plenty to be sanguine about.