It's been nearly 30 years since cult thrashers BLOOD FEAST dropped an album. In that time, the equally obscure splatter flick of the same name from Herschell Gordon Lewis has finally been reissued to gore hounds. Originally known as BLOODLUST, the band enjoyed a modest run with New Renaissance Records, which gave the band exposure to a bloodthirsty group of Gen X thrash mongers until its first split in 1991. An attempt to revive BLOOD FEAST occurred in 1999, though 2007 marked the official resurrection under the guidance of guitarist Adam Tranquilli, who had originally left the band after 1989's "Chopping Block Blues". Tranquilli reconfigured the band in 2014 once returning drummer Kevin Kuzma left yet again.
Check your roster card for past associates, but the result is Adam Tranquilli leading BLOOD FEASTS's fearsome ensemble—including vocalist Chris Natalini, bassist Tom Lorenzo, drummer Joe Moore and second guitarist CJ Scioscia—through what can be considered the band's finest effort, "The Future State of Wicked". A thrash classic? Maybe not, but it's a damned masterful slab of mayhem fans will easily embrace.
"INRI" proves there's monster heat in this band. Blasphemy and speed were part of BLOOD FEAST's original mojo and "INRI" is no different. Better production is the differentiating factor as the track blazes with Satan riding shotgun, and lifting the finger against Christianity at breakneck speed. "Off With Their Heads" continues the galloping pace, with the guitars shoving as brutally as the squelching vocals and rollicking velocity. Most impressive is the melodic bass lines turning an ordinary thrash nugget into something with tastier chops. Oodles of Adam Tranquilli's guitar solos fly through the eardrums on this song alone. It's as if he'd been stockpiling them, waiting painful years for this very moment to record each one.
"Brethren" continues the whumping trend as the beats only get harder and the guitar lines whirl through compound flurries en route to another blitz-bombing guitar solo section. The tumbling intro to "By the Slice" suggests a slight pause to the bedlam preceding it, but happily, the momentum hardly staggers. Only the minute breakdowns harness the song's steady pound.
Sustaining six-and-a-half-minutes of unending chaos on "The Underling", BLOOD FEAST at last exhibits its first slowdown halfway through. It had to happen at some point. The doomy chords and putrid squelching accent an agonizing slog through lyrical excrement and bile at this point in the song. This is purposeful, no doubt, like a master flatulence planter dishing a doozie in a fart game. There's a noticeable joy BLOOD FEAST takes in nauseating its listeners here before propelling off once again.
"Last Rites" officially changes the tone toward a marching black metal trudge with sinister riffs and headache-inducing snare clubbing. A raw trudge through the intro of "Who Prays for the Devil" and BLOOD FEAST is at it again, thrashing like maniacs to the end with the killer 1:27 instrumental "Remnants II", demonstrating how much hellfire this band has stashed in its arsenal.
If you never heard BLOOD FEAST the first time around, absolutely dig into "Kill for Pleasure", "Chopping Block Blues" and "Face Fate". Yet, "The Future State of Wicked" is by far the most astute and powerful this band's ever been. A gory rebirth from third-tier thrash legends, "The Future State of Wicked" will carve you up with some of the best thrash you're likely to sit with all year.