I have to admit that Norwegian death-pop crew Blood Command never really made it onto my radar for some reason but, four albums in, and with a fairly major line-up change, their new record, Praise Armageddonism has got me intrigued. Now, when we talk about big line-up shifts, for most bands that means a new guitarist or drummer. Not for Blood Command, who have employed the services of former Pagan vocalist Nikki Brumen with the musician relocating from Australia to front the group.
The resulting change saw the band reworking an album they started in 2018 with Brumen being described as “the final piece of the jigsaw.” Now, for those of you lucky enough to have seen her fronting her previous outfit, you’ll be pleased to know the vocalist has brought that infectious energy and enthusiasm to her new group. Listening to Blood Command bounce through the likes of “A Questionable Taste In Friends,” it’s easy to see why Yngve Andersen brought her in as she does indeed fit in perfectly.
A ridiculously hooky set of songs, a gorgeous pop mentality and a stack of punk rock energy, Praise Armageddonism is an album full of tracks that sink their claws in with absolutely no intention of letting go. A bit edgy, a bit quirky, a bit bonkers, listening to the band smash out the raucous but stupidly catchy “A Villain’s Monologue,” or the slick sweetness of “Saturday City,” and it’s hard not to fall completely in love with this group.
The beauty of Blood Command as woven throughout Praise Armageddonism is their knack for being able to write music that is impossible to pigeonhole. You’ve got the brash thrashings of “Nuns, Guns & Cowboys,” you’ve got the high-energy pop-punk of “I Just Want That Movie Ending” and you’ve got the trashy glam-punk sneer of “Burn The Blasphemer,” they all sound completely different to each other but they could only come from this band.
Brumen’s major selling point must surely come from the fact that, whether she’s screaming her lungs out or dragging you in with the sweetest of pop melodies, she blends so effortlessly into this group it’s unreal. The end result is, as found in their influences, an album that would sit as comfortably alongside a Blondie release as much as it would alongside the ferocity of a Refused record.
Diversity is the name of the game with this album. It’s a record packed with surprises around each corner and, with the final piece of the puzzle in place in the form of their new vocalist, where Blood Command now takes this is anybody’s guess. For now, though, Praise Armageddonism is the perfect introduction to their new vocalist and a perfect start to this exciting new chapter in their quirky career.
Praise Armageddonism Track Listing:
1. Praise Armageddonism (Awake Theme)
2. Saturday City
3. The End is Her
4. Everything You Love Will Burn
5. A Questionable Taste in Friends
6. A Villain’s Monologue
7. Nuns, Guns & Cowboys
8. I Just Want That Movie Ending
9. Burn the Blasphemer
10. Last Call for Heaven’s Gate
Run Time: 36:50
Release Date: July 1, 2022
Record Label: Hassle Records