Bloodlust! This California band released their debut Guilty As Sin in 1985 on Metal Blade Records. The LP cover is depicted on the left. The cassette actually had a different cover (and kind of a cool one, too!). A pic of the cassette cover is presented at the bottom of this post. I have also included pics from the 2007 CD release of Guilty As Sin by Old Metal Records. This CD also included the four tracks from Bloodlust’s 1988 EP, Terminal Velocity. The quality of the CD is not an improvement from the original release (in fact, Terminal Velocity was ripped straight from a vinyl source). Though Old Metal Records had done a fair share of bootlegging in their time, this release claims to have used Metal Blade’s masters for Guilty As Sin (with permission). Also, the release appears to have been done with the band’s involvement.
While American thrash metal was exploding in 1985, particularly in California, there was also a fair amount of speed metal bands getting signed out on the West Coast. I know I’m splitting hairs a bit by delineating thrash and speed metal as they do overlap on many levels, but bands such as Abattoir, Agent Steel, and Bloodlust were playing pretty straightforward speed metal at the time, and not really incorporating the rhythmic breaks of thrash. It’s no coincidence that I name Abattoir, Agent Steel and Bloodlust in the same breath, as all three were California speed metal acts, and all three released debut albums in ’85. Furthermore, the three bands had quite a bit of crossover in terms of band members in the early years. Speed metal may have seemed like a burgeoning sub-genre at the time, as evidenced by the signing of these bands, but speed metal never became a lucrative thing (while thrash exploded into a bona fide phenomenon). Nevertheless, we can look back on these old speed metal albums with fondness, as they encapsulate an exciting time in the evolution of heavy metal.
My Worthless Opinion: Unfortunately the production on Guilty As Sin is pretty much shit. This sucks because I really think that there are some good songs here. I would definitely listen to Guilty As Sin a lot more if it didn’t sound like it was recorded in somebody’s rectum. There are seven solid tracks, each with its own identity. There is enough variation in song content and tempos on this record to keep Guilty As Sin from sounding like one long song (something all too common with speed metal records). Actually, Bloodlust mixes in a fair amount of traditional metal elements in with the speed metal. The album doesn’t contain any filler, and with a total playing time of about 30 minutes, Guilty As Sin doesn’t over stay its welcome. For me, two tracks stand out in particular. First, there is Ride To Death which features the album’s most memorable chorus. My other favorite would be Tear It Up, which exudes tons of raw metal-up-your-ass attitude. It would be nice to someday see this album remixed and remastered properly so that it can be enjoyed to its full potential. My score: B