The Underground Sounds Of America: Blood Feast
Words: Chris Krovatin
If you’ve ever been to a thrash metal show, you’ve seen a Blood Feast patch on someone’s jacket. And for good reason – the Bayonne, New Jersey, quintet lit up the American scene in the late ’80s with two albums of blistering horror thrash that gave fans bored by the Bay Area’s listenable sound something a little more brutal to gnaw on. As such, the band became one of death metal’s early influencers, and infected the in-the-know thrasher underground with their extreme sound.
Almost two decades after splitting up following 1989’s Chopping Block Blues, the band reunited and wrote a new album, last year’s The Future State Of Wicked. Now, they’re dealing 2018 a final killing blow with Chopped, Sliced, And Diced, a six-song EP of fresh tracks, re-recorded classics, and live cuts that gives listeners a healthy dose of the band’s distinctive more-vicious-than-thou vibe.
But while keeping a band going is tough, restarting one that’s cooled down is a whole different beast altogether – but one that Blood Feast have found has its own set of punishments and rewards.
“The challenge was making new music that was as good or better than what we did all those years ago,” says founding guitarist Adam Tranquilli. “And the reward is bringing the band out to places we never went, seeing everyone enjoying what we do. Also hearing the stories of how Blood Feast influenced people, or got them through a rough time.”
Having seen thrash metal form, grow, fall behind its more extreme peers, and return to metal’s forefront, Adam has taken an almost zen approach to making new music that channels Blood Feast’s original ethos: make the metal that slays, success be damned.
“It goes without saying that album sales are in the tank,” says Adam. “Also there are so many bands these days. So we just go out, give it our all and be the best we can be. Then let the chips fall as they may.”
If you’re excited to hear what the band has to offer, you’re in luck: Kerrang! is proud to host an exclusive stream of Blood Feast’s Chopped, Sliced, And Diced EP in advance of its release this Friday. Check it out below:
Needing a break from the frantic headbanging that comes with listening to Chopped, Sliced, And Diced, we took a moment to ask Adam what has kept Blood Feast in the game all these years later.
1) If you had to play a newcomer one Blood Feast song to introduce them to the band, what would it be?
The re-recording of Hunted, Stalked And Slain from our new EP. It’s got everything a Blood Feast song strives for – heavy, fast, twisted and in your face. And with a production we never had back in the ’80s, courtesy of CJ [Scioscia, co-guitarist].
2) Who are your five greatest musical influences?
- Tony Iommi
- Denis ‘Piggy’ D’Amour
- Jeff ‘Mantas’ Dunn
- Deep Purple
- Led Zeppelin
3) Who would be on Blood Feast’s dream tour?
Slayer, Venom Inc. and Blood Feast.
4) How has being from New Jersey informed Blood Feast’s music?
It gave us a gritty, blue-collar work ethic which helped us create such intense music.
5) Tell us about Blood Feast’s mascot. What’s his name, and how has evolved over the years?
His name is Fredy – yes, with only one ‘d’ – and was the creation of Drew Elliott. With the new EP and our previous album, The Future State Of Wicked, we just gave him a title and off he went. He’d send sketches, and we’d make suggestions, but it was really all from Drew’s imagination. It’s great that he’s still around and interested in working with us. Cool dude, too.
Blood Feast’s Chopped, Sliced, And Diced EP drops this Friday via Hell’s Headbangers. Pre-order it here.