World Controlled

Release date: May 29th 2006
Magic Circle Music
Target (Denmark)

Rating: 30/100
Reviewed by: Gregory Whalen
Date: May 10th 2006

Chicago’s Bludgeon are the sort of band you’d expect to encounter in the lower regions of a Midwestern metalfest bill. Their knuckle-dragging, pit-orientated sound is the lifeblood of promoters more interested in cramming as many acts as possible onto their pay-to-play stages than in genuine talent or entertainment value.  

Quite what Joey DeMaio heard in these guys that he wasn’t hearing in hundreds of other smalltime outfits is a mystery, but he duly signed them and produced their debut album for his Magic Circle imprint back in 2002. Four years later, Bludgeon are back with “World Controlled” and if anything sound even more irrelevant. Forsaking the death growls of “Crucify the Priest” for hardcore vocals and some vague stabs at social commentary, the band pummel through this eleven-song set with a lot of enthusiasm but offer little in the way of innovation.  

Sure, the musicianship is fine and the production sounds expensive, but where are the songs? Where’s the conviction?  

Mr DeMaio would be well advised to hire some competent A&R people.