MARY’S BLOOD‘s self-titled sixth studio album dropped on September 29, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I’ve already gone over the history of the band in a previous review for the single “Starlight”, but for a quick refresher, MARY’S BLOOD formed back in late 2009 and has consistently released five impressive power metal studio albums since their debut. The band consists of four members: Eye, Mari, Rio, and Saki.
‘MARY’S BLOOD‘ opens with a quick instrumental that builds the stage for their power metal sound before falling into a still calmness right before.
“Without A Crown” comes roaring in, and the first thing you hear is Saki’s heavy riffs with Rio’s thundering bass below, quickly building into Mari’s entrance on the drums and Eye eventually joining in. The first minute of this track perfectly demonstrates what you can expect from the rest of the album. We have Saki laying riff after riff, adding in some pitch harmonics to give that extra flair, while Eye sings beautiful melodic verses before she starts the harsh chorus that makes you want to chant “GET THE CROWN” along with her. We also see some really sick almost grove metal parts from the band before the chorus repeats, leading into a chunky breakdown right before Saki’s guitar solo. Now if you’ve read my other two reviews you already know my love for Saki and her guitar work, and she doesn’t disappoint on this album either, starting off with really aggressive solo that shifts into something more melodic.
Next up is “Blow Up Your Fire“, one of my favorites off the album, and it’s your standard speed metal/power metal anthem. Eye’s voice is just perfect for this song, you really get to appreciate the range of emotions she’s depicting throughout. Mari’s double bass throughout this whole track is something we haven’t heard yet on this album, and is something I know I was missing as soon as it was gone after this track.
Now the middle of the album is gonna be hit or miss for some. “Joker“, while a fun song and a nice curveball from what we’ve experienced up till now, just hits at the wrong time, as going from the nice double bass with the speed metal riffs to this slower track definitely threw me off. Eventually though, you start to appreciate the slower rock riffs it starts. However, the real highlight for me on this track is Rio’s bass, it’s nice and chunky and very clearly pushed up so much that she even gets a nice little solo bass section right after the guitar solo. “Be Myself” is the most “standard” J-rock song on the album, however with Eye’s vocals it’s still a amazing track that flows well right after “Joker” and sets us up for “Umbrella“, the ballad of the album.
“Ignite” is the start of the back half of the album, the part that hold my favorite tracks on the release. Beautiful harmony vocals permeate through in this one, and Saki’s trademark slow build up guitar play transitions into an intense solo and really helps this song shine.
Now let’s talk about my favorite song on the album, “Let Me Out“. This song is fantastic, as the added keyboard that harmonizes with both Eye’s vocals and Saki’s melodic guitar gives the song a special flair that isn’t present on other songs in the album.
“Mad Lady” and “Starlight” are the finishers on the album, and since I already covered “Starlight”, let’s go over “Mad Lady”. Eye’s aggressive vocals return for this in-your-face track, and the flow of the song is peak MARY’S BLOOD, reminding me of something that you’d hear off a TESTAMENT single, but instead of Alex Skolnick we have Saki shredding the furious riffs and solos.
‘MARY’S BLOOD‘ is a quintessential metal album from the fall of 2021. 12 years strong, they continue to innovate and expand their sound, from Saki’s fantastic song writing and guitarwork to Eye’s melodic vocals and Rio’s brutal bass work, all with Mari’s drumming keeping this metal package held together no matter how thunderously fast or heavy they go.