Streams Of Blood – Ultimate Destination MMXVII

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/Label: Blasphemy Halls
Distributor/Label URL: http://www.blasphemyhalls.de/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://streamsofblood.bandcamp.com/album/ultimate-destination-mmxvii
Band Website: http://www.streamsofblood.com/

BAND LINE-UP:

Thymos – Vocals & Guitar,
Simon “Blood Hammer” Schilling – Drums.

TRACK LISTING:

1. Intro
2. Road To Ruin
3. Temple Of Blood
4. I Have The Might
5. Bringer Of Light
6. Inner Tyrant
7. Beast Reflect
8. The Master
9. Von Der Realität In Das Ewige Licht
10. New World Order (2012)

REVIEW

In this cynical age where free music is but a few clicks away and major record companies milk their charges until they’re withered, dry husks (at which point they’re slaughtered and sold for pig feed), it’s easy to be sceptical of re-releases. Here’s an album you bought, and now you have to buy it again for the extras included. You’d be forgiven for turning a blind eye and becoming jaded by the whole farce. But what of remixed/remastered albums?

Remix/remasters tread a very thin line. On the one hand, they can drastically improve the sound of an album and enhance its appeal and sonic impact. Yet it can also ruin the magic of the original – every release is a moment in time and documents the artist at that point in their career. Sure, it may have sounded like arse back then, but that’s where you were back then and this is you now – there’s been growth and maturation. So what of STREAMS OF BLOOD’s foray?

Hot on the heels of the well-received 2017 album “Allgegenwärtig”, the band decided to revisit their sophomore “Ultimate Destination”, add some sonic polish and re-release it at the crest of their latest album’s wave. Known as “Ultimate Destination MMXVII”, this 2017 version is every bit as fierce and fiery as it was four years ago, and more than matches the fire of this year’s new release.

The band’s intention was “… to give the album a warmer, more powerful sound, especially in the drum compartment…”, but there are times when the drums feel a little lost in the mix. The blasting fury of “Beast Reflect” feels a little flat in comparison to its 2013 predecessor, and it permeates a little throughout. However, the 2017 release does feel a little warmer. The instrumentation blends together neatly and sits far more pleasantly in the mix, most notably in the atmospheric arpeggios the band is fond of (see “Road To Ruin” for a prime example). It takes away a little of the sharpness of the previous release, but serves the whole mix rather than a singular aspect. As much as it may not be trve or kvlt, a coherent mix is a far better listen than white noise torture.

If you love STREAMS OF BLOOD’s sophomore the first time around, then you’ll be right on board with this re-release. Is the new version better? That’s certainly up for debate – the band do tread the aforementioned line very well and avoid ruining the original 2013 version’s legacy, but it is a little up-and-down. See it for what it is: as two interpretations of the same album. Listen to both and find your favourite.

REVIEW BY: LEE CARTER
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