Caliber 666: Blood Fueled Chaos

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Caliber 666: Blood Fueled Chaos
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Caliber 666: Blood Fueled Chaos
Death Metal
Ibex Moon Records
November 16th, 2010
Release length: 42:03
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Blood Fueled Chaos marks the debut full-length album from the Swedish Death Metal act Caliber 666. Sure, Blood Fueled Chaos isn’t necessarily one of the most original Swedish Death Metal acts to come around, clearly borrowing from many staple acts for this regional brand of Death metal, such as Dismember for example. One look at the artwork to Blood Fueled Chaos will bring in a rush of emotions for the fans of Death Metal in general, as the artwork here brings in a very old-school approach that was best found to accompany the releases from lesser known bands and record labels. While this doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to the album, it’s pretty clear what to expect from Caliber 666, and the band doesn’t fail to deliver. What the band delivers is a solid early Swedish Death Metal sound that has been pioneered for many years by many bands before them, but is executed with precision. But, is this kind of precision really all you need to create a solid Death Metal record?

The album doesn’t really start off with an introductory track, but, the band does utilize an audio sample at the start of “To the Killing Fields”, which comes from the popular horror series Hellraiser to kick things off, with Pinhead stating simply that “This is just the beginning.” This is perhaps one of the best introduction choices for a Metal album, with such an iconic character recognizable to many, and such an appropriate statement to “warn” the listener of the madness to come. While this song isn’t quite the strongest track off the album, it is still a very welcome start to the album, being a very strong Death Metal track that doesn’t necessarily go out of it’s way to bring anything too new or fresh into this sound, showcasing the traditional sound that Caliber 666 has opted to go with, but moreso to show how well they are able to pull it off, weaving a song that often goes from catchy head banging to moments that can enduce fits of blind rage.

Of course, “To the Killing Fields” essentially sets up the vibe of the album. The song also has enough energy behind it that the listener will quickly get pumped to hear the rest of the album, but Caliber 666 doesn’t necessarily offer anything too exciting to the mix outside of the traditional Swedish sound performed well, so it’s not like their approach on this album hasn’t been heard many a time before. There’s still some great songs on here, such as “Black Smoke”, which really shows the intensity that the band can bring to the mix, and “A Part of the Art” is a well composed song that has some great hard hitting guitars with enough of a hook that you’ll want to just run to the nearest living thing and start moshing right there, but the chorus just comes off a bit standard, as if the band didn’t really know what else to do and just threw some very simple guitar chords together and had the drummer goes into a toned down blast beat while lyrics are simply shouted over the madness. “Frontline” also has a great traditional Death Metal approach with riffs that will remind listeners to mid-career Cannibal Corpse that are simply driving and show some fantastic execution from the band to create a punishing song that will quickly be one of your favorites off the album.

The only other issue about this recording is the production, which isn’t quite the best. The overall volume itself is rather low into the mix, and the quality is a little more raw then it probably should be for the album, giving everything a sound that is less then favorable to the release. The drumming has a weird sound to them and really just have no bite, often being drowned out in the background by the guitars. The vocals are perhaps the most redeeming aspect of the album next to the bass as far as the sound quality goes, both being very deep in the first place and working well together, though the bass could have been a little deeper in the first place, while the guitars sound great, but can just sometimes lack any real bite to them, such as during the song “The Worthless”. However, that can’t be pinned solely on the production, as sometimes the guitar’s composition itself can be a little weak, utilizing generic riffs that have been heard plenty of times before, or simply are just not that inspiring. Some tracks have some fantastic guitars to them though, such as the more complex guitar work on the start of “Serpents Walk”, as well as some heavy sounding chugging guitars throughout, and there’s no denying how addicting the guitars on “A Part of the Art” are. Another issue with the production is that it winds up sounding hollow, and even tinny outside of that sound that can be heard in the drumming. There’s no real kick to the music, even with the drums, and at times, when the double bass really winds up driving a portion of the song, much like the start of “Morphing”, it sounds like a mess, almost as if it’s just riddled with white noise and a hollow recording.

For a debut album, Blood Fueled Chaos isn’t that bad. The proble here lies in the simple fact that it’s nothing all that new, all the impressive outside of some various tracks and moments throughout, and the production winds up leaving things sounding rather muddied, hollow, and even tinny, taking away from the bite that many of these songs have. There’s no denying that Caliber 666 can pull off a catchy and heavy album, but there’s also no way to look past the faults in the music, and production of this release. In the end, Blood Fueled Chaos makes for a nice addition to the slew of Swedish Death Metal albums out there, but not one that stands out amongst them.

01. To the Killing Fields – 5:13
02. Black Smoke – 3:49
03. Let the Blood Flow – 4:15
04. Incineration – 4:28
05. A Part of the Art – 3:58
06. The Worthless – 3:31
07. Frontline – 2:45
08. Serpents Walk – 4:46
09. Genocide – 3:43
10. Morphing – 5:35

Overall Score: 6.5/10
Caliber 666 (Band)
Caliber 666 (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by Ibex Moon Records via Clawhammer PR.