Blood Command – ‘Praise Armageddonism’

By Ash Bebbington

It’s always interesting when a band changes its singer, even more so when that singer uproots their life and moves halfway across the world to take up their new vocal duties. Despite having already completed ‘Praise Armageddonism’ in early 2020, the Norwegian party rockers unexpectedly had to find a new vocalist. They reached out to Australian vocalist Nikki Brumen whose previous band Pagan had just broken up and who, it turns out, is a huge fan of the band thus jumping at the opportunity, and happily re-recording the vocals for the album.

It’s a gamble that’s paid off, as Brumen brings a totally different dimension to vocal duties than her predecessor. She gives the band different energy, while still creating something that sounds quintessentially like Blood Command. She is superb at creating vocal hooks that stick in your head from the very first listen and brings so much character to the cadence of her vocals.

This, mixed with Blood Command’s trademark style, results in the most energetic, fun record they’ve put their name on. If you like big hooks and loud guitars, you’ll have an absolute blast with ‘Praise Armageddonism’. Blood Command fans will surely be satisfied also, despite changing singers the band still does everything here that’s won them so many fans in their native Norway and further afield over the years.

‘Praise Armageddonism’ has been in the works since 2018, long before Brumen joined the band and so it’s to her credit that she completely makes these songs her own despite not having a hand in writing the lyrics or melodies.

This is a rock record with pop sensibilities, one that’s made to soundtrack parties and be bopped along to in the sunshine. It’s also at its best when it’s at its poppiest. Blood Command has always had a heavier element to its sound and that’s certainly present here but, if you’re anything like us, in those sections you’ll find yourself wanting those huge clean chorus hooks to come back in.

Thematically, the album touches on Heaven’s Gate, the religious cult that came to an abrupt end in the 1990s when its members committed mass suicide in the belief they would be taken to the afterlife on a spaceship. You can see a nod to this theme with a number of UFOs on the album cover.

Nikki introduces herself with a bang on the opening track ‘Praise Armageddonism (Awake Theme)’, with a mix of shrieked vocals and cleans. It’s ‘Saturday City’, however, that really gets the party started – with loud, flamboyant synths, a huge chorus and loud guitars, it’s one of the album’s standout moments.

‘The End is Her’ keeps the good times coming, with a summery feel and soaring lead vocals. Meanwhile, ‘A Questionable Taste in Friends’ is centred around lively and bouncy riffs, and superb vocal lines. ‘I Just Want That Movie Ending’ is another of the album’s best tracks, with a world-beater of a chorus, gang vocals and huge guitar parts.

If you like rock music with huge catchy choruses, ‘Praise Armageddonism’ is incredibly worthy of your time. It’s a fun, bombastic record that has come out just in time to be played at summer get-togethers. So, don some Adidas sportswear, get this record on, and play it loud.

ASH BEBBINGTON

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