Adopting a retro sound can have mixed results for different listeners. For some it’s like returning to their glory carefree days of youth, discovering the roots of a sound (in this case heavy metal), or simply enjoying a sound their parents used to listen to. For some others it just sounds old and tired. After all if it was such a good sound, why did it evolve and not just stay the same? What Blood of the Sun have managed to do with a measure of success here is to capture a spirit of the hard-rocking Hammond-led sound of the ’70s and still maintain some identity. The band makes no secret of the fact they are a ’70s band playing today which is a refreshing change from bands who like to avoid any suggestion their sound is not completely original, when we all know it’s not. In terms of a modern interpretation of an old sound I don’t think it does it as well as others like Toehider, but the songs are more traditional hard rock and have wider appeal.
This is the fourth album from the band, the brainchild of Henry Vasquez (drums) and Dave Gryder(keys) and there have been a few personnel changes along the way. This time they are joined by John O’Daniel on vocals, who brings that classic strong early metal style, guitarist Rusty Burns of Point Blank, those Southern rockers from the ’70s, and Tony Reed who plays guitar and bass but also had a hand in song-writing and recorded the album.
I can see the appeal of this record – well written, played, recorded and produced. It’s fast with grooving bass lines, great guitar solos, heaps of riffs and songs essentially about nothing. Hell there’s even that naked woman on the cover getting herself off from the excitement of the music. I won’t list all the bands they sound like because you probably get the idea. For me it’s simply a style of music I was never a huge fan of and never listen to now. I still have trouble trying to tell the difference between some of the tracks and the rest just fall into the giant mixing machine that spits out music that sounds old and regressive.
As always I gave this six or seven listens but my editor has had to wait longer than usual for this review simply because I neither love nor hate the record. I just like most of my music to sound like it’s from this century, but if you love hard rock from the ’70s and think the term “space age technology” means something is cutting edge, give this a loud listen and rejoice that not all the world has progressed in the last 40 years. You’ll have a blast.