With a discography as extensive as the one of Germany’s Death Metal/Grindcore veterans, it makes perfect sense to see a compilation album like this one surface. In fact, it surprised me quite a bit that it took this long. Many bands that have a nice slew of (split) EP releases under their collective belts already issued an ‘All EP’s thrown together’-sort of compilation album, but seemingly it wasn’t before the year 2022 that it was Blood’s turn to present their collected work in such a convenient product as a double disced compilation album.
The music is served to you on two discs, of which the first one contains all the songs that were recorded for all of their (split) EP’s between the years 1990 and 2001 and the second disc contains two live sets. Disc one has the EP tracks all presented in chronological order, meaning we get to chew on a whole bunch of rough and crude Blood tracks. In the order of appearance it is the tracks from their ‘Recognize Yourself’ 7″ EP (1990), split 7″ EP with Agathocles (1991), split 7″ EP with Impetigo (1991), ‘Live Meer Belgium’ 7″ EP (1993), split 7″ EP with Dead Infection (1994), ‘Spittle Red Of Blood’ 7″ EP (1995), split 7″ EP with Mystic Circle (1997), split 7″ EP with Psycho (1998), split 7″ EP with Inhume (1998), split 7″ EP with Warspite and finally their 2001 ‘Massacre’ 7” EP. While listening to the whole lot, you can hear the progression that band made, especially in their earlier years, but the most striking thing is that Blood never changed their musical course. Even today the band sound primarily the same as they did back in 1990. The emphasis tends to waver a bit from more Grindcore oriented at their early years to a more Death Metal based sound later on, but drilling down to its core, it is all so very recognizably Blood.
The second disc has the Blood tracks that were on the split live tape with Malignant Tumour, which were taped back in 1995 and released a year later through the Bizarre Leprous Records label, being only the label’s second release ever. Considering it has been quite a collectible for years, it is nice to see it included in this compilation as well. It captured Blood at their rawest live recording, not all too different from their recordings on the ‘Live Meer Belgium’ 7” EP, which was only recorded two years earlier. Such recordings, no matter how coarse and rough they sound, or maybe even because of that raw nature of it, hold some sort of magic. At least, it does for me. Personally, I totally love the atmosphere of such home-taped live recordings (or rehearsal/demo tapes, for that matter). Maybe not all that much strictly for the listening experience, because it might require a bit of a trained ear, but even more so because it captured the energy and overall mood of those lively early years of extreme music. The second live set was recorded twenty years later at the Obscene Extreme festival of 2015. Of course it sounds a bit better, but it obviously has that unique energy that Blood still possesses.
Even though I do own all but one of those 7” EP’s, it is needless to say, I personally loved the ride through these recordings. The same goes for that 1995 live tape, which always seems to be able to put a certain spell on me. ‘Complete 7″ & Live Discography 1990-2005’ is definitely a great way to complete your Blood collection and for those who do not have (all) of these (very) early Blood recordings. But to me personally, nothing beats digging through those real 7” EP’s on a rainy Sunday…