Blood Stain Child – Epsilon (Coroner Records)

Friday, 22nd March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

We’ve long preached as to how there’s virtually nothing you can’t do in metal, and while there have been plenty of misses along the way (i.e. anything involving rap, for starters), there’s always someone willing to throw something out there to see if sticks. Case in point, Japan’s Blood Stain Child, who take the neo-melodic fury of Children of Bodom circa 1999 and combine it with cyber dance pop. Of course, this shouldn’t add up…but it does.

In spite of the their tendency to draw from the Dragonforce pool of melodies (yuck), Blood Stain Child have that upfront melodic swirl to them instantly brings to mind the ultra-pristine modes Finnish melodic deathsters Mors Principium Est like to employ. There’s a lot of high-velocity riffs being moved around, especially on “Forever Free” and the frenetic “Unlimited Alchemist.”

However, a lot of these ideas are drenched in keyboards and they’re not of the frilly nature. Rather, BSC likes to get the dance floor moving, apparently. The bouncy nature of album highlight (the ridiculously catchy) “Stargazer” and Electricity” definitely have the chance to raise some eyebrows, especially when the band tosses in some fist-pumping synths into the mix. Up against it all is the vocal combo of female singer Sophia (who is auto-tuned like no other) and Ryo, who handles the traditional growls. Yet it’s Sophia’s robotic vocals that ultimately pull the most weight, most notably on “Sirius VI” and the awkwardly-titled “Dedicated to Violator.”

Unlike anything else going around at the moment, Blood Stain Child’s odd mixture is still an album or two away from being perfected, but Epsilon has a handful of songs that will stick to one like super-glue. Plus, how anyone can’t get down with robot vocals is mind-boggling…

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