October 9, 2016

Review - Blood Division - Traitors to the Gallows.

Blood Division - Traitors to the Gallows.

Cyclopean Eye Productions. (mail@cyclopeaneye.com)

Review by Trevor Proctor.

Blood Division come from Singapore in South East Asia and formed at the start of 2009 by M. and C. with the intention of creating a hate filled and blasphemy fuelled blend of Black/Thrash and Crust Punk that is extremely violent, anti-religion and anti-political. Their first demo ‘Grip of Power’ was released on cassette at the end of 2011 in a limited quantity of 180 by Witchhammer Productions from Thailand and shortly after Blood Division played their first live show, opening for Danish band Nuclear Death Terror at a gig in Singapore. 

This live debut led to more shows which included opening for bands such as Australia’s Warthreat and Norway’s Kvelertak and with momentum and support building for the band they soon released their debut EP ‘Necrordance’ during 2012. ‘Necrordance’ further solidified the band’s support and soon Blood Division had the opportunity to feature on a split release with UK band Winds of Genocide.  Unfortunately Blood Division didn’t have any new material available in time so the split release went ahead with Japanese band Abigail instead. However, as soon as new tracks were written a new split was released which also featured Rotting Bull, a Black Metal side project of the bassist from Winds of Genocide. This split was entitled ‘Cursed in Rotting Blood’ and was released as a hand numbered limited edition cassette by Ferrous Void Productions in the U.K. with distribution in Europe and North America/Canada by a number of distributors and labels.

Following the release of this split Blood Division was offered its first overseas show by Cyclopean Eye Productions as headliners of the Trendslaughter Festival III in Bangalore, India. Blood Division and the Trendslaughter Festival III both received a lot of positive media attention which brought them a much bigger audience than before. A lot of Blood Division merchandise was made available for the show including t-shirts, a repress of the ‘Necrordance’ EP by Cyclopean Eye Productions and a CD version of the ‘Cursed in Rotting Blood’ split which was released by Haxanhaus Media and Distribution. Proof of the high standard of the band’s music and their growth in popularity was highlighted by the fact that every tape, CD and shirt were completely sold out on the day of the festival. 
Blood Division’s current line up consists of M. on guitars and vocals, C. on bass and backing vocals and H. who performs drums and the fantastic news is they are set to bring us their debut album ‘Traitors to the Gallows’ which is due for release on CD from Cyclopean Eye Productions in late November/early December. 

The album features eight tracks across twenty minutes with most being a short, sharp shock of filthy, Crust filled Black/Thrash. Most of the time the vocals are venomous hate filled shrieks with an occasional Death Metal growl thrown in for good measure and as you’d expect there’s plenty of serious riffs to be heard as Blood Division rip through track after track and with most lasting around two to three minutes it’s an intense assault on the speakers. The only track lasting more than three minutes is title track, ‘Traitors to the Gallows’ which sees Blood Division significantly drop the pace for the only time on the album with a six minute track that’s essentially Death Metal which adopts a doom like pace a number of times. Whilst ‘Traitors to the Gallows’ is completely different to the other tracks on the album it’s still a great track and a style I’d like to see Blood Division experiment with a little more on future recordings. 
It’s a case of back to business as Blood Division close the album in style with a cover of the Discharge track ‘Cries of Help,’ and of course they step the pace back to its previous levels to close the album in the strongest of fashions. 
Definitely a thoroughly enjoyable album from start to finish with my only slight gripe being it all flashes by a little too quickly and I’d like to hear a bit more as with duration clocking in at just over twenty two minutes it’s all over a little too soon. BUT let’s not detract from what we have here – a very strong album of high tempo, no bullshit, no frills Crust/Black/Thrash, don’t just take my word for it though as fifth track, ‘Beyond the Iron Curtain’ is available to stream below.

Cyclopean Eye Productions has undoubtedly brought us some of the best extreme underground music available, let’s not forget they have brought us debut or early releases from sterling bands such as Genocide Shrines, Serpents Athirst and Dying Embrace so this is a label that most certainly has its finger on the pulse within the underground. Whilst Blood Division’s music may be different in style to most of their previous releases once again they have brought a gem to a wider audience. A band and label definitely worth your attention.

Quality stuff – 8/10.


01 - Sulphur Halitosis
02 - Nightmare Blitz
03 – Stranglehold
04 - Death Miasma
05 - Beyond the Iron Curtain
06 - Shadow Empires
07 - Traitors to the Gallows
08 - Cries of Help (Discharge cover)

Digital formats of previous Blood Division releases are available from Blood Division's Bandcamp.
Traitors to the Gallows will be available on CD from late November/early December from Cyclopean Eye Productions. (mail@cyclopeaneye.com)

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