"Blood Farmers"

(Leaf Hound)

01. Twisted Brain (Part 1)
02. Orgy of the Rats
03. Albino
04. Bullet in my Head
05. Theme
06. Y.G.B.
07. The Holy Chalice
08. General Urko
09. I Drink Your Blood
10. Twisted Brain (Part 2)
11. After the Harvest
12. Studio Jam (bonus track)

RATING: 8/10

Here's a blast from the past for ya. The self-titled debut album from BLOOD FARMERS was let loose upon the world by Hellhound Records in 1995 and continues to be praised by big boys like ELECTRIC WIZARD and CHURCH OF MISERY for its influence on the doom genre. Yet doom fanatics notwithstanding, how many of you have ever even heard of BLOOD FARMERS, much less owned an album? That what I thought and it is precisely the reason that Japan's Leaf Hound Records has remastered it, repackaged it with additional artwork, and added a bonus track from a 1994 studio session.

The cover art of a wild-eyed Ed Gein character from the movie "Deranged" should have clued you in to the B-movie horror worship going on here, as also evidenced by song titles like "I Drink Your Blood". That goes for the rest of the artwork contained in the booklet too. Coupled with the visuals, the entire 69-minute duration gives one a feeling of unease, even as you are enjoying every second of hot devil blues and BLACK SABBATH-rooted stoner jams.

As with virtually any other traditional doom act, the BLOOD FARMERS style all goes back to earlier BLACK SABBATH, particularly the extended jams on Side B of the self-titled first album from 1970. You can really hear it when the bass switches from its traditional roll of rhythmic support and begins dueling with the guitar during a solo section, much as Iommi and Butler would be playing off one anther, yet playing completely different parts. Long melodic solo sections and tempo breaks occur with regularity and flare on the seven to nine minute tracks of which there are six (including the killer blues-based "Studio Jam" bonus track). It is one of the albums shorter tracks, "Bullet in My Head" (clocking in at 4:31) that boasts a groovy refrain that sticks with you from the very first spin though. It's trance-inducing. That rolling groove and macabre vibe gets under your skin, a quality consistent throughout the album. Fluid and organic, the style is one birthed from what was clearly a labor of love.

Reissues work best when a previously hidden gem is unearthed. Such is the case with the BLOOD FARMERS debut offering, a fine representation of underground doom and stoner rock jams that may even appeal to more than just the diehards. You just don't hear albums like this one very often these days.


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