Music Review: Bloody Knives, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

Published on June 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Post-Punk, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

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I heard a voice, a whisper in the dark
And I followed it until I couldn’t see anything anymore.
–Bloody Knives, “Poison Halo”

When your band is named Bloody Knives, you’d better have the tunes to back it up. Fortunately, the Austin four-piece deliver the gory goods on their latest release, the viscerally titled I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

Beginning with the screaming urgency of opening track “Cystic,” the album is a vice grip to the heart that never lets go, lingering long after the last notes of “Buried Alive” have faded away. Like A Place To Bury Strangers, Bloody Knives transforms feedback from a stylistic choice into a viable musical subgenre. Folks, this is why guitars and effects pedals exist.

Yet despite the preponderance of guitar fuzz, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is not a warm and fuzzy album. It’s more like being frozen alive, feeling each individual blood cell crystallize as you slip into numbness and eventually, unconsciousness. This is nihilism at its finest; the kind doom metal or Goth bands would kill for.

The songs are constructed of layers upon layers of feedback, yes, but also melodies that are stunningly effective, anchored by meaty basslines and perfectly offset by singer Preston Maddox’s detached cooing. In a time when singles dominate mainstream radio and dance clubs and even talented indie bands struggle to create consistency on their albums, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is a refreshing blast of cold air; everything fits together like a deadly puzzle. Despite being far less well-known than the aforementioned A Place to Bury Strangers, Bloody Knives have created an album that is far more consistent than APTBS’s last album.

And maybe it’s just the Hannibal Lecter fan in me talking, but if ever there was a group of songs that sonically and lyrically capture the bleak beauty of the television iteration of the Hannibal-verse, it’s these eight tracks. The lyrics run the gamut of dark thoughts and deeds, from the Francis Dolarhyde musings of “Reflection Lies” (Cut out your eyes, the mirror won’t see anything), to a dead-on description of Hannibal’s person suit in “Cystic” (Pull away the veil to see your face, emptiness hides), and the Lecter-as-avenging-angel imagery of “Poison Halo” (Blood drips from your crown, empty tears fall from your eyes, and they fall into the ground). It’s a Fannibal’s wet dream.

Bloody Knives’ previous releases only hinted at this level of staggering talent. I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is an incredible accomplishment and easily one of my favorite releases of this year so far.

I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This was released on April 15 via Sainte Marie Records.

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