Bloodgood released their debut ep METAL MISSIONARIES in 1985. The next year they put out their self-titled full length debut produced by Darrell Mansfield. Michael Bloodgood says: “The idea for putting Bloodgood together came long before there was anything like Christian/White Metal. It was born through prayer and a burden the Lord put on my heart. At the time, there was no outreach of any kind for all the people into metal and headbangers simply wouldn’t listen to anything else...As the months went on, it became clear that the Lord wanted to use me to be a part of this new work”. It has been 22 years since they released their swan song ALL STAND TOGETHER. In 2010 they were inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame. Now Bloodgood is back with DANGEROUSLY CLOSE (2013, B. Goode Records). It is mastered by former group member David Zaffiro. Today, Bloodgood is: Michael Bloodgood (bass/bgvs), Les Carlsen (lead vocals), Paul Jackson (guitar/bgvs), Oz Fox (guitar/backing vocals), and Kevin Whisler (drums). Fox joined in 2007 and is also in Stryper.
The lead off single, written by Les Carlsen and Paul Jackson, is ‘Lamb of God’. It is a memorable heavy metal number that declares who Jesus is and what He has accomplished: “On His knees He washed our feet/Poured His blood on the mercy seat/Told us to love one another/Lay down your life for your brother/Lamb of God/Born of a virgin/Water to wine/Taught in the temple/Healed the blind/Holy Spirit/Fruit of the vine/I am Yours/You are mine.../Lamb of God”. ‘Run Away’ is a catchy rocker. It is the familiar story of a man who finds himself being seduced by a dangerous woman: “I shouldn’t be here/Oh God, help me/Give me the strength to leave this place/What was I thinking?/I know this is wrong/Run away (from the spider’s web)/Run away (you soon will be dead)/Run away (the wise men said)/Run away and hide/Run away (from where she lays)/Run away (she’s an open grave)/Run away (the wise men say)/Run away, run away and hide/Run away!”
‘Child on Earth’ features a great electric guitar solo by Oz Fox and is prophetic in nature: “The fall of man/You’ll overcome/To earth Your Son You’ll send/And He will be/The Lamb of God/And wash away our sins/Virgin birth, Child on earth...Amen/Crucify, pierced His side...Amen”. ‘I Will’ is an artistic rocker. It is also a song of testimony: “Oh, You’ve rescued me/Gave me eyes to see/Oh, Your love for me is guiding my life/Oh, You shower me with pure ecstasy/All the plans for me are shining so bright/I will, I will, I will/Sing for Your glory and I wanna fly on the wings of Your love”.
‘Bread Alone’ is a tasty heavy metal treat. It warns us that material things can’t complete us or meet our deepest needs: “You know the world will tell you, ‘Satisfy yourself/The most important thing is you and no one else’/And everything you own and all that you consume/Will not be able to keep you from the tomb/I want to testify and need to tell the truth/And as the years go by, I’m further from my youth/And that’s just fine with me/These lines are living proof/We don’t live by bread alone!” ‘Pray’ speaks of the importance of conversing with our Maker: “When you awake your day begins/Speak to God, confess your sins/Call to mind the ones you love/Lift your enemies up above/Bring to Him the world today and pray/Pray, pray, pray, pray!/Call for those who need some peace/They hurt so bad and seek release/And so you bow and make request/For those so tired in need of rest”.
‘I Can Hold On’ finds Eric Robert on the Hammond organ. It is a ballad about spiritual determination: “I can hold on and stay the road You put me on/My life, Your love, this is right where I belong/And I surrender the guilty memories/It doesn’t matter what I’ve done before/From the moment I saw Your face/My wasted past is not welcome anymore/I’ll never stop fightin’/Never stop trying, never denyin’/Never stop fightin’/Never stop trying, never denyin’/’Til the day I die”. ‘Run the Race’ is a hard rocker with a punch, that encourages us to pursue intimacy with God: “Lose your life/Find yourself/Stay the course/Run the race that He has given you/Go!/To the Word of God where you find the source/It’s His written voice, yeah/In the quiet place/A still small voice/Just you and God, yeah”.
‘Father Father’ is a dare I say, pretty ballad, that starts with these words written from the perspective of Jesus: “I’m hanging on a tree ‘cause I love you/Walking on the sea, ‘cause I can/I’m coming to visit, I’m not going to stay/I’ll be out of here in just a few days/Now my arms are wide open to embrace/The pain that I have is raw and real/But the joy!/Outweighs the disgrace/Father, Father, you know how I feel”. ‘Man in the Middle’ is a guitar driven rocker that is one of the strongest songs on the album. Lyrically, it will please those who like clear songs about the atonement: “Via De La Rosa, the road to the cross/The Lamb of God redeeming the lost/Carry the load and the disgrace/Willing to be there in my place.../Torn in the flesh/Ripped open skin/Never cried out, never gave in/Determined to die and go to the grave/This act of love, so all might be saved”.
‘Crush Me’ is a cry for God to bring us under His full control: “My lips say I adore You/But my heart is so wild/Love me, find me/Break me, crush me/Fix me and give me life again/Love me, find me, break me/Crush me, fix me/And give me life again”. The closing song ‘In The Trenches’ was penned by Les and Michael and uses vocal distortion. It is a song of spiritual encouragement: “Don’t be a dead man walking/Faith untested is no faith at all/Nothing grows in the mountain tops, but in the trenches!/If you believe, don’t be afraid/If you believe, fall on your knees/If you believe, then you’ll be saved/If you believe!”
DANGEROUSLY CLOSE finds Bloodgood in fine form. If you are an old school metal fan who appreciates meaty guitar work, distinct vocals, and straight forward evangelical lyrics, this one is for you! I recommend it to fans of Stryper and Whitecross and am rating it 88%. For more info visit: www.bloodgoodband.com.