AlbumsJuly 31, 20232,127 views

Bloodletter A Different Kind Of Hell

A Different Kind Of Hell
1. The Howling Dead 2. Blood is Life 3. Bound & Ravaged 4. From Hell They Came 5. The Last Tomb 6. His Will Be Done 7. Obsidian Offering 8. To Darkness Damned 9. Lord of Pain 10. What Lies Beneath 11. Flesh Turned to Ash
2023 Wise Blood Records
Our score 7

by Jake

It’s already been quite a year for blackened thrash records with albums from Hellripper and Necropanther leading the way amongst others. But the year is far from over and a new challenger has entered the Battle Royale for 2023’s black/thrash crown and that’s Chicago’s Bloodletter. Having released a host of material over the last decade, Wise Blood Records snatched them up, and it’s through this impressive upstart of a label that A Different Kind of Hell was released. Eleven songs and a very manageable thirty-five minute runtime are the technical earmarks but as always, there’s more to a record than a stat sheet so let’s jump in.


First off, Bloodletter handle their thrash a little differently than the aforementioned sister bands in that while the riffs take the center stage as one would expect, the supporting themes are melody and solos. While melody and thrash can sometimes be at odds, the tracks on A Different Kind of Hell balance the two extremely well by letting the melody rear its head when it best suits the song rather than trying to compose around it. Melodic riffs abound during the bridges and solos but let the song shift into top gear while vocalist Peter Carparelli barks away. “Blood is Life” is an early track that does this well with twin soloing guitars that lead the way into a track that is absolutely rife with energy, lilting riffs, and air-punching moments around every corner, especially when all of these ideas collide, as they often do.


Bloodletter tend to stick to their melodic thrash foundation on this record for the most part, and that generally works out for them. The deviations from this sound, while sparse, work really well. “From Hell They Came” is far closer to melodeath than thrash and it stands out as one of the finer tracks on the record. Another moment where the album breathes is the penultimate song, “What Lies Beneath.” Clean guitars introduce this track at about half the speed of every song that precedes it, while the double bass kicks away before things return to the expected pace. These detours are few and welcome but perhaps the album could have benefitted from a few more of these larger changes in pace. That being said, this record is hardly monotonous.

A Different Kind of Hell is filled with lots of little details which add up to a record that reveals more each time you listen to it, as long as you’re paying attention. “To Darkness Damned” has one of the most catchy riffs on the record that is used sparingly enough to place the song on a loop—just to bang your head one more time. “Lord of Pain” returns to the twin soloing guitars as the song concludes in a fury of kick drums and thumping bass lines and the final track, “Flesh Turned to Ash” lives up to the blackened thrash tag with a cold, trem-picked intro that fires up the riffs in earnest. Nearly every composition has something unique to reveal along the way that could easily be dismissed with a single listen. Perhaps a little more boldness in the future could empower Bloodletter to dabble with more ideas and incorporate them into their sound, they certainly have the talent and capacity for it.


Bottom Line: A Different Kind of Hell is an incredibly fun record that blends the best parts of the genres from which it takes influence. With a tight runtime, memorable riffs and melodies, and some nuanced curveballs, this is a record that shouldn’t be missed. While a little more experimentation and vocal approaches may help future releases, there’s plenty to enjoy here and Bloodletter seem to be cracking open a whole new world for themselves and where they go from here will be fun to watch. 


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anonymous 54 days ago

This is, for sure, a review of the album in question.

anonymous 52 days ago

I listened to Zulu based on it receiving a score of 9 and it smokes this garbage. Which only received a 7.

anonymous 49 days ago

Hardcore, am I right? It's the only reason that some of us live

anonymous 47 days ago

Note quite up to par with the Zulu album