Blood Command – ‘Return Of The Arsonist’

By Gem Rogers

Show some musicians the word ‘genre’ and they will laugh in your face. At the very least, they’ll let their music do the laughing on their behalf – and Norwegian four-piece Blood Command are definitely among those who refuse to sit in a labelled box.

That’s not to say there aren’t some clear elements and sounds that can be picked out on new EP ‘Return Of The Arsonist’, should you be that way inclined. Try keeping to a rigid idea of what to expect from each of these six tracks, though, and confusion is bound to set in; between the atmospheric intro and Karina Ljone’s vocals darting from snarling punk to silky smooth, melodic riffs, pop-rock chants and pulsing drums, Blood Command are firmly sticking two fingers up to the idea of musical boundaries.

This brazen attitude to style could so easily end in disaster – yet at the hands of Blood Command, it works. ‘No Thank You, I’m More In To Fake’ kicks off with punky fury before cascading into glorious pop-with-an-edge, whilst ‘Live Right Or Go Straight To Hell’ has one of the most chant-along choruses of the year. It’s never too much to put off those who prefer lighter, more melodic tunes, but still holds all the intensity and ear-splitting noise to keep heavier fans satisfied. EP closer ‘Afraid Of Water’ has a very Alkaline Trio feel to it, darkness and melody coming together with a driving bassline that sticks firmly in the brain – in a good way.

With most of the six tracks only just topping two minutes, there’s a short and sharp feel to ‘Return Of The Arsonist’ (though we wouldn’t say no to more). Invigorating, raucous, and furiously catchy, Blood Command have created something that feels completely fresh – whether you’re a seasoned fan or entirely new to the band, this is essential listening.

GEM ROGERS

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