Sound — 7
Despite being Christians, With Blood Comes Cleansing do not hold back on Horror. Guitarists Scott Erickson and Jeremy Sims prove to be an adequately talented duo, their dynamics ranging from vicious down-picked rhythms on Lash upon Lash, to tremolo picking on Hematidrosis. Although unfair to generalise, these songs do represent a genre that has been known to lack versatility at the best of times; WBCC fail to dispel this criticism with their dependence on what is the genre's greatest weapon, but also it's most poignant adversary: the breakdown, which increasingly superfluous as the record progresses. In other areas, death metal fans will be gratified to find the presence of blast beats in terms of the drums on this album, and by no means should the Christianity-orientated lyrics dissuade the more secular of death metal listeners from giving WBCC a chance to impress them.
Lyrics — 5
Vocally, front man Dean Atkinson impresses with his diverse array of shout-along choruses, high-pitched shrieks and booming grunts. Altogether, it makes for a conundrum of aggression, typical of the genre, while maintaining frenetic pace throughout much of the album. The lyrics themselves focus on the band members' allegiance to Christianity, addressing many themes of the New Testament, ranging from the Crucifixion to the apocalypse. Paramount to the ebb and flow of this album is the progression of the lyrical themes throughout, as it more or less replicates the chronology of the New Testament. On a downside, it transpires that the composition of the songs in question was obviously made easier by the fact that much of the lyrical content has been plagiarised, or rather, copied straight from the Bible. Whether or not one concurs with the lyrical message here, it cannot be disputed that it is portrayed in a less than original light.
Overall Impression — 6
With a Victory Records backed coast to coast tour in their midst, a loyal and dedicated fan base, and a message to which the band seems dedicated, things are on the up for With Blood Comes Cleansing. Though a far cry from early Christian Metal, such as Stryper, they're obviously similar in terms of their message, albeit with a more morose outlook on the themes that Christians tend to view in a more positive light. This, the band's first major label release, armed with the 'correct' marketing campaign could leave its mark on the underground.