Heaven Bled is undoubtedly infused with HOBBS' classic past, but is recast in a powerfully streamlined manner where the songwriting and execution take center stage and rawness and youthful enthusiasm are no longer the guiding principles. There's demonic fury in abundance, but it's tempered with the quiet confidence of age and wisdom, through which Hobbs LOUDLY casts his incisive gaze on a whole host of subjects, each one more vitriolic (and catchier) than the next. Altogether, Heaven Bled is a timeless blend of extreme metals throughout the ages, sounding as fresh as HOBBS' ANGEL OF DEATH's explosion onto the international scene in 1987.
Capturing a wide range of emotions, sounds, and flavuors across Metals' wide historical spectrum, this album does not disappoint those of us who have waited through the hiatus. Old-school metalheads will hear reminders of KROKUS in tracks like "Walk My Path" - with its smooth transitions from one tempo to another and the seamless movement from lead to vocal lead and back again - to the elements of newer stylings heard in tracks like "Sadistic Domination" and "Depopulation" (check out those growls and that lead-run arpeggio that would make SLAYER's Jeff Hanneman proud). There's something here for everyone… and long-time fans of Hobbs, Mrakic, Marshall and Stone won't be disappointed. - Metal Temple4/5
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