Orlando “evilcore” – metalcore with just the right amount of pepper and spite – innovators Bloodlet made a surprise musical comeback a few weeks ago with the release of their first new song in two years, “Stealing Fire”. .
And “Stealing Fire” is just the harbinger of an exponential increase in Bloodlet activity. The band are ending a long performance hiatus — their last gig was with Miami slime gods Torch at Will’s Pub in February 2020 — to hit the road with heavyweight peers Darkest Hour and Zao for an East Coast run. .
This isn’t the Orlando metal-hardcore legends’ first “back from the dead” moment. After a reign of terror that lasted most of the 1990s, producing albums like the 1996 classic entheogen on Victory Records, the group would go into hibernation several times, occasionally emerging to play gigs or release ever more ambitious albums, such as the one produced by Steve Albini Three wet nights in the cypresses in 2002. Bloodlet last reunited in 2017 and was going strong until the pandemic put a damper on everything. Now an older, wiser Bloodlet is back, seemingly playing for good.
Bloodlet gets his road work started in earnest this Friday with a hometown warm-up show at Will’s Pub. (We come full circle.) Although calling it a “warm-up” is a slight misnomer, as the lineup is damn intriguing – a precise past/present/future of Central Florida heaviness boasting crazed OG Gargamel! and wild young cannons Meatwound and Horsewhip. From there it went for a few solo dates headlining East Coat/Midwest and then the Darkest Hour tour.
But back to the surprise release of “Stealing Fire.” Musically and conceptually, “Stealing Fire” is proof of reclusive time very well spent: a dizzying and often majestic three-minute crash and a burn of tempos and riffs with lyrics based on the story of Prometheus, the Titan. who stole fire from the Greeks. gods – allowing humanity to flourish – and was punished in a horribly eternal way.
“Lyrically, there’s not much more metal than that,” jokes Bloodlet vocalist Scott Angelacos. “I mean my man was tied to a rock and had his liver eaten every night by an eagle and then he grew back and it would all happen again the next day.”
“It definitely has elements of the old Bloodlet in it, and I can hear riffs that would be totally comfortable on entheogenand totally comfortable on Three wet nights in the cypresses. It also has some newer stuff in it, some of the sounds that we’re moving towards,” says drummer Charles Wright. “And it’s a super fun song to play live.
The Will’s Pub show isn’t the only comprehensive element of Bloodlet’s return to the stage. Dates with Old Friends Darkest Hour is itself an attempt to pick up where things left off in 2020.
“Right before everyone was locked down. I think our last shows with [Darkest Hour] were in January 2020,” Angelacos explains. “They’re just trying to pick up where they left off and they offered us a tour again.”
The Darkest Hour invitation caused a drastic change in the direction the band was directing their energies, as it turns out they slowly worked on new material for an album. Their goal became to rehearse, to practice, to find that telepathic connection that a tight live band needs.
“We are really getting back into the [practice] room, spending as much time together in the room as possible and making sure that not only the technical muscle memory is there, but also that feeling of playing together every day,” says Wright.
“It feels like we’re firing on all cylinders now,” Angelacos says. “There’s a difference in our minds between just having a bunch of songs that you play and having a cohesive whole that feels like it goes together and hits.”
And what the hell is that about a new record?
“It’s kind of hard to say where we are. We stopped on the writing process, we put it aside to get ready to go on the road. But I think we have five or six demo songs,” says Angelacos. .
“We’re getting closer. I don’t want us to lock ourselves into a timeline or anything,” Wright said at the end of the album. “But that’s in less than a year, I think.”
In numbers, “Stealing Fire” is Bloodlet’s first single in about two years. And whenever that new record comes out, it will be the band’s first full-length album in over 20 years. Is there some sort of weight of expectation?
“I didn’t think of it until you mentioned it!” exclaims Angelacos. “We really want to pay attention to who we were in the past and make sure all of those elements are still there. But we really try to do our own thing and try to bring new elements to it and challenge ourselves. .”
“One of the blessings and curses of Bloodlet is that if you go back and listen to our catalog, each of these albums is different from each other,” says Wright. “So when we have this conversation about what makes a Bloodlet song, it’s like, ‘Well, what Bloodlet? Sometimes we’re punk rock and sometimes we have 11-minute songs, and other times we’re a mid-tempo rock band with screaming vocals. We are all of these things.
Though that sounds like a roll of the dice – or challenging the gods a la Prometheus? — for groups to make predictions about what the future holds, Bloodlet seems almost optimistic.
“We’re really enjoying what we’re writing right now,” says Angelacos. “I can’t wait to see what we’ll do with the tour and with the record.”
“If I look in my crystal ball and say, ‘What future does Bloodlet hold?’ I think there will be more shows, more albums,” Wright said. “Now that doesn’t necessarily mean one album a year or anything like that, but it’s definitely not going to be 20 years between this album and what’s next.”