Blood Money by Guillotine
Release date : October 2008
Reviewed by Eric Stephens
In February 2008, Guillotine revealed the fact that fourteen tracks had been penned in support of a sophomore studio album. A decade earlier, in 1997 to be exact, the outfit had issued debut full length Under the Guillotine via Necropolis Records. Guillotine's lineup features; Nocturnal Rites rhythm guitarist Fredrik Mannberg supplying vocals and guitar, Nocturnal Rites' Nils Eriksson occupying bass, Daniel Sundbom handling guitar, and Efraim Juntunen behind the drumkit. That same February, two freshly recorded demo tracks in the form of “War” and “Blood Money” were made available for streaming via the group's official MySpace page. Later in the month, the outfit began recording drums and guitar in support of a second studio record. During mid March, it was announced that Guillotine had inked a record contract with Pulverised Records. By late April, basic tracks had been completed, and by mid May, the tracks “Die / Live?” , “Our Darkest Day” and “Skeleton City” had been mixed. In early June, work upon the full length was finished. Mixing was handled by Mattias Eklund (who's worked with such acts as Nocturnal Rites, and Naglfar amongst others) at Toontrack Studio, whilst Goran Finnberg handled mastering at The Mastering Room (which has played host to the likes of Soilwork, In Flames, and Dark Tranquillity). During late July, the album's track listing was unveiled, and its actual title was revealed to be Blood Money.
Roughly spanning two minutes, a trailer featuring audio samples from Blood Money was issued in late August. During early September, its artwork was unveiled. The design was handled by Ed Repka, who has undertaken commissions from the likes of Megadeth, Venom, Death, Possessed and Atheist amongst others. Midway into the month, a late October issue was slated. Later that September, “Rebellion” was made available for streaming via the group's MySpace page. Additionally, a music video was filmed to accompany the track.
Should Guillotine be attempting to secretly disguise the fact that Blood Money happens to be a politically oriented full length, then the album's cover artwork betray's the group in that endeavour (an array of political figures toast one another, and share blood-stained notes). Such images build Guillotine foundations, enough for the quartet to unleash their variety of Thrash Metal. A minute Slayer ambience dwells within the air, and Blood Money immediately launches into “Insane Oppression”. Vocalist / guitarist Fredrik Mannberg's clean, growling vocals surface, and Guillotine's Thrash oriented music quickly provides support. Roughly midway through, both Mannberg and Sundbom execute a minor shred fest. “Rebellion” subsequently arrives, a near continuation of “Insane Oppression”. A near cruel prank, “Madness” lowers Guillotine's pace. However, the track merely lasts roughly a minute, the group immediately morphing into “Dying World”'s Power Thrash. One of merely a few compositions which somewhat deviate from straightforward Thrash, “Dying World” utilizes Power vocals, and some intricate guitar parts.
If you wish to discover Slayer type Thrash Metal, then Blood Money is a respectable full length. In light of the fact that only four individuals comprise Guillotine, the Metal sonics are somewhat punishing. Evidently, several tracks are seemingly continuations of their respective predecessors. Causing the material to segue together, this doesn't allow each specific cut to stand upon its own feet. Despite the fact that “Madness” happens to be a brief tune, it shows that Guillotine has great musical promise should they ever wish to venture away from Thrash. Via classic Thrash vocals, Mannberg powers through, and Sundbom compliments this courtesy of his guitar work. In issuing Blood Money, Guillotine will not set any fresh standards. However, the outfit has finely recreated classic Thrash sonics.