Blood Divisions may be billed as a “supergroup” but I think that the artists on the release do not (yet) individually deserve the “superstar” title or collectively the “supergroup” moniker. There is no doubt that lead vocalist Chris Jericho has achieved superstar status in the wrestling business and arguably as a best-selling author but I think that it is a real stretch to call him a superstar in the music industry on the strength of his work in Fozzy. I suppose if you consider the artists in Blood Divisions solely within the state of Florida, each might well deserve “superstar” status.
Blood Divisions‘ self-titled digital EP, which consists of only two cover songs, is really akin to someone dipping a few of their toes in the water to see how warm the water is. It feels like the release is simply a test run to see if there will be any interest in Blood Divisions and if there is enough interest, these artists may well converge together once again to perhaps put out a lengthier release.
The first cover song consists of a nine minute track called “The Morgue” and which originates from the 1980s Florida based thrash metal band Nasty Savage. Given that Nasty Savage guitarist David Austin apparently recruited at least one person (Jericho) for the project, it is not that surprising that a Nasty Savage song is being covered for this project. “The Morgue” should really be two songs rather than one because for the first minute and a half, the song simply has a classical/gothic like intro that you might hear to start a metal concert. Once the intro has passed, you are greeted by Jericho‘s singing — which I have always found a bit subpar for the metal genre — and some good guitar solos that continue throughout the song. Whomever handled the production did a fine job because the songs’ sound is really good. Interestingly, I note that Nasty Savage‘s 1985 version of “The Morgue” is not even six minutes long so Blood Divisions have apparently decided to give “The Morgue” a makeover as some sort of epic metal track. Overall, it sounds pretty good but does not come close to being spectacular in any way.
Next up is a cover of the Scorpions‘ “Top Of The Bill.” I am not sure why that track was chosen to be covered because there are so many way better Scorpions songs to cover than that one. Nevertheless, it is nice to get a more modern sounding version of “Top Of The Bill.” Blood Divisions‘ version of the song admittedly sounds a lot better than the outdated ’75 version by the Scorpions. Jericho‘s vocal style on “Top Of The Bill” fits the song a lot better than on “The Morgue.” Unfortunately, the intro portion of the guitar solo towards the end of “Top Of The Bill” really leaves to be desired and is almost painful to hear. I am pretty sure that you’ll know which part I am talking about if you listen to the song.
It is hard to really gage how good that Blood Divisions could be given that the band offers two cover songs and no original material. Sure, they have brought new life to two songs which date back respectively about 30 and 40 years. But then again, I think just about any band could have brought a more modern sound to those two dated songs. Blood Divisions have produced just enough that I am still interested in hearing more from them. Will they stick with more cover songs next time around? Only time will tell.
01. The Morgue
02. Top Of The Bill
Chris Jericho – vocals
Dave Austin – guitars
Ralph Santola – lead guitar
Terry Butler – bass
Greg Gall – drums
Bill Owen – lead guitar
John Mahoney – lead guitar
Ben Meyer – lead guitar
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, August 2015