Blood Money

Here we have a Swedish entry to the current wave of classic thrash that’s seemingly pouring out of every corner of the world. But where most of these bands are typically pretty young, Guillotine formed in 1995 under the name Holocaust by members of Nocturnal Rites.

The experience shows on Blood Money, as all 11 songs are well crafted slabs of thrash that draws most of its influence from the likes of Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, but is not without a good dose of groove in places. More often than not, Guillotine rely on a quick mid-pace rather than all out speed, but stomp down the accelerator occasionally, as heard on “Insane Oppression”, “Die/Live?” and the closing trio of “War”, “Our Darkest Day” and the title track.

I have to give a mention to the cover art, as it was done by the legendary Ed Repka. It depicts a host of corporate fat cat looking types, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, toasting glasses of wine, smoking fat cigars and tossing around wads of blood stained cash standing in the midst of a war ridden city – a classic cover indeed.

Blood Money is worth checking out if you’re a thrash fan, because the execution is nearly flawless, but casual listeners of the genre may want to pass, as there’s not really anything here you haven’t heard before.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 2nd, 2009


  1. Commented by: Storm King

    Oh man, if there was ever a CD that I decided to try out just because of the cover, it’s that one. I wish this was on vinyl just to get that art bigger.

  2. Commented by: Dan

    Try as I might, I just can’t get into this retro-thrash thing. Can’t stand the vocals and given the one-dimensional nature of the sound itself, the whole scene just seems like an aesthetic arms race. Who can out-retro the competition? I worry about the future of metal when one of our most popular genres is a cannibalistic throwback gimmick.

  3. Commented by: Staylow

    Does it have to be a gimmick? Maybe it’s just that they love thrash and that’s what they want to play? I don’t think anyone is trying to out retro anybody else though. I will say it’s getting a bit tiresome, but I don’t blame the bands – they’re going to exist regardless. It’s the labels fault. Municipal Waste gains some popularity, and all the labels have to run out and snap up a bunch of similar bands.

  4. Commented by: adlianb

    man, this band is experiencing the same production problem similiar to dekapitator. they really nailed the classic retro-thrash sounds on their previous album but falter on the new one when they upgrade their sound to a more modern and clean sounding record. i would suggest checking out their “under the guillotine” album simply for the production and top notch thrash songs ala german thrash.

  5. Commented by: Dimaension X

    The samples on their Myspace page sound pretty good to me – I don’t get the whole retro-production criticism – this album was mixed at Toontrack Studios, a very modern and state-of-the-art facility, and the place where they invented the Drumkit From Hell.

    Reminds me of Slayer in parts. Far better that that Slayer Tribute band, Demiricous.

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