Probably just like many of you, sometimes I find myself in a rabbit hole of bands I haven’t listened to in ages. Recently this was the case and I unearthed an old copy of the 1987 full length debut Kill For Pleasure by Blood Feast. I had forgotten just how much fun of a listen this album is so for this edition of Retrospective I’m taking a ride down the thrash metal memory lane with it.
Blood Feast hails from New Jersey, originally named Blood Lust but in an attempt to avoid a lawsuit from another band of the same name they changed it (for the better in my opinion). The first demos of select tracks from the album garnered the attention of New Renaissance Records and the band found itself signed shortly thereafter. The unfortunate thing is, the label never promoted the album the way it should have and of course didn’t help a lot with touring either. However, on the strength of the band’s volatile sound—falling somewhere between Slayer, Kreator and Celtic Frost—the album still flourished and went on to be the biggest seller for the label. With all that said you are excused if you missed out on the album the first time around. It was extremely difficult to lock down a copy for myself all those years ago.
It probably didn’t help much for album exposure that some of the bigger names had genre defining releases around the same time and thrash metal was huge, bordering on over saturation but Kill For Pleasure was—and still is—an exceptionally good thrash album. There are several reasons I took to this album and still love it to this day. But the biggest is the non-stop energy. These guys play like they hit a huge line of cocaine and went right into recording. Just get into the meat of “Menacing Thunder” and “Cannibal” to see what I mean, pure high speed aggression.
As fast as this album is overall the band still finds time to show off some grooving riffs that are highlighted best in “Suicidal Mission”. The slightly slower pace here is closer to death metal than thrash but this is yet another reason this album resonates with me. Between the muddy production and groove sections peppered throughout, this album has a distinct early death metal feel. Then there’s Gary Markovitch’s vocal sound, raspy yells that are an ace in the hole to the genre. But I’ve always thought they sounded a little like Steve Souza which, for me, is not a bad thing. Worth mentioning is the crystal clear bass that can be heard at any point on the album and truly is a stand out. Some of the best thrash albums in history have this same bass clarity and this one benefits from it.
I will say that across the ten tracks offered there is a bit of repetition. Some of the songs tend to sound the same and very easily blend together but when the riffs are as tight as these are and the drumming is steeped in dizzying patterns, repetition is a factor I can easily live with. With thrash back at the forefront it’s funny that listening to this album today it really doesn’t seem out of place at all, rather it feels as though it could have been released within the last couple of years.
The band released one more full length and then split up a couple of times before getting back together in 2007. They are still active and are currently singed to Hell’s Headbangers and as of now are supposedly working on new material. Blood Feast is a perfect fit for this label and I’m hoping for big things from their next album. In the meantime take a trip back in time and hit the play button below… then tell me you don’t have a grin from ear to ear.