Blood Star, First Sighting (Shadow Kingdom 2023)

SLC vintage metallers Blood Star step into the spotlight with their inaugural album, First Sighting.

Breaking ground in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2017, Blood Star play in the 1980s metal lane, calling up the past with their brand new music. They have released a handful of singles along the way to their impressive debut full-length album, a record that I expect will receive wide acclaim. Blood Star is Madeline Michelle (vocals), Jamison Palmer (guitar), Noah Henley (bass), and Al Lester (drums).

“All For Nothing” is the first of eight songs, and it is a banger. The music is certainly in the 1980s style, and it sounds a bit like Demon might have sounded with a female lead singer. Clear, strong singing is surrounded by full production in the rhythm section and digestible lead guitar flourishes. “Fearless Priestess” heads off in a more serious direction, at least in tone. It is a fantasy tale perfectly suited to the musical construction. There is an elaboration on the lead guitar in this song, and it is most welcome. “No One Wins” is a short throttle-rocker, a bit like Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” in that way, except without the hysteria. Side one goes out on “The Observers,” a song that sounds like a long lost Blue Oyster Cult number. Very nice.

The flip side gives us a quiet wake-up call with “Dawn Phenomenon,” floating in on a soft acoustic guitar. “Cold Moon” strides out ruggedly, capturing the essence of search and chase. There is less immediate urgency to the longest track on the album, “Going Home.” The song does ramp up to a rollick, and it goes on a mystical journey there in the middle, too, before returning to the sharper crack of the trail. “Wait to Die” is the last word, and it is my favorite of the set. I love the guitar here, the rhythm section really cooks, and Michelle’s singing is in top form. If you are looking for some nostalgic metal, some hard-edged rock and roll, this album fits the bill. Recommended.

First Sighting is out through Shadow Kingdom Records on Friday, April 21st. Pick yours up at the links below.




Shadow Kingdom Records,

© Wayne Edwards

Blood Star, First Sighting (Shadow Kingdom 2023)