BLOODSPORT — Lethal Tender (review)

BLOODSPORT — Lethal Tender album cover EP · 2021 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Time Signature
The heart of a lion beats in this chest...

Genre: traditional heavy metal

Okay, so the band is called Bloodsport, and their previous release "Kumite Attack" was based on the classic eponymous martial arts movie starring none other than JCVD himself. On this release, "Lethal Tender", Bloodsport stick to the JCVD theme, but, this time, the tracks are inspired by another JVC classic - namely, "Lionheart".

The two tracks on the EP are perhaps best described as retro heavy metal with a power metal edge and even some speed metal thrown in. The title track is actually pretty cool, starting out as more of a power metal track, then morphing into an old school heavy metal affair. After some rounds of solid heavy metal riffage, there is a very cool breakdown in the style of late 80s and early 90s Running Wild; this is followed by a speed metal section akin to "Kill 'Em All" era Metallica with a blistering guitar solo on top. Then it's back to a verse and a chorus. Seriously, I think this is a really well composed track. "Lion's Den" is more of an uptempo track. While the main feel is more uptempo 80s metal, I'd say that it is really a combination of North American power metal and early 80s speed/thrash metal (there's even a punky bridge which took me by surprise but which I bought hook, line, and sinker).

The production is tight and, while the band seem to have applied a bit of the reverby production that characterized late 80s metal, the production is mostly modern. The musicianship is impeccable (including the vocals which are rich in 80s metal screams and things like that), and the songwriting is a tour de force of 80s metal genre tropes done right.

While devoting and entire band to JCVD might seem a bit silly (not to me though - I gew up with his movies!), the music is actually pretty awesome. Fans of 80s metal, speed metal, and North American power metal alike should find this an enjoyable listen. Here's hoping that Bloodsport's next release will be based on JCVD's role as the evil Ivan Kraschinsky in "No Retreat, No Surrender".
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Tupan wrote:
18 days ago
Well, I'm just waiting for the Universal Soldier homage!

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