Some bands can't record ordinary or boring albums and the Texans BLOOD OF THE SUN definitely belong to such musicians. 'Death Ride' is their third record, again released through Brainticket Records in 2008 and once again there have been some changes in the line-up. Rhythm guitarist Rich Hurley has been replaced by Eric Schmidt, who's also in Mitra, but the biggest surprise is new entrant Derek St. Holmes, the former singer and rhythm guitarist for Ted Nugent and St. Paradise. Classic songs like 'Stranglehold', 'Cat Scratch Fever' or 'Stormtroopin' wouldn't be so unmistakable without his vocals and he also suits perfectly to the heavy organ-driven sound of BLOOD OF THE SUN.
The musical changes keep within a limit, even tough in comparison to the previous records, 'Death Ride' is in places more funky. That's alright for me, particularly because the entire sound didn't lose anything from its striking heaviness. 'Rise from the Underground' for example is so fat and heavy that it always gives me goosebumps. Drummer Henry Vasquez is singing this song as well as 'Shine', who knows to convince as he did on the second record 'In Blood We Rock' (review here). The interaction between all musicians is simply perfect and everyone manage to set a course, whereas organist/pianist Dave Grynder's diversified playing is adding the ulimate cut to this thunderous sound.
'Death Ride' is engrained in the 70's, but it never sounds outmoded or antiquated. It's supersaturated with energy and power from the first to the last song. Marvelous! This time BLOOD OF THE SUN have recorded a cover version of Lucifer's Friend's 'Keep Going', which is from their first album. It's redundant to mention that the execution is superb. For me personal this is one of the best albums of 2008 and meanwhile BLOOD OF THE SUN have demonstrated that they are an exceptional band, who rule every stage, too. What for a killer album!