When most people think of what the South Texas underground spawned in the late 80s, they think of Necrovore, a band that released a 4 track demo tape in 1987. The tape has become legendary, and in its earliest days, even reached members of Morbid Angel, Mayhem, and Profanatica.
Most people outside of the South Texas area don’t realize that there were dozens of bands that, like Necrovore, were destructive, years ahead of their time, and unfortunately, released only one or two demos before vanishing, with virtually all members of all bands never to be heard from again. San Antonio bands such as Hellpreacher, Valkyrie, and Death Tripper are just a few more examples of this. With their untitled 1988 demo, Blood Spill was yet another one of these bands.
At first glance, Blood Spill’s demo tape has similar black and white cover artwork to other bands from their region and time period, especially Hellpreacher. With the satanic priest giving his black mass unto a pile of skulls, flesh, and devastation, you already know this is going to be something dark, heavy, and destructive.
All three tracks of this demo are around nine minutes in length, and are pure chaos all the way through, similar to Necrovore. However, unlike Necrovore’s constant, unrelenting barrage of destruction, Blood Spill’s demo is filled with bridges, guitar solos, and time and tempo changes. This demo was very skillfully written, a nice surprise considering the fact that the members of the band were all around the age of 15 during the time of writing.
The first track, “Playground of Death”, starts slow and does a great job building anticipation. After a quick drum count off, the highest pitched shriek you’ll ever hear tears through with astounding force. The second the scream is heard, and the music picks up, it is already known this is going to be something intense and punishing. The band comes in with fast single foot blasting and dark guitar lines. The vocals are not very typical of this time period. They are much deeper and darker than what nearly all bands were doing at the time, with the exception of those screams, which are still so over-the-top by today’s standards. There are sections of slow double bass, and slow 4/4 sections with lengthy, insane guitar solos being performed over them. The other two tracks follow this diverse and heavy style of songwriting, while also having their own distinct sound. Even with three songs at nine minutes long each, following the same style throughout the demo, nothing about this execution is repetitive, and rather than dragging on, the songs compliment each other, and the demo’s flow is absolute perfection.
Like so many other San Antonio bands during the late 80s, Blood Spill was far ahead of their time, and yet, followed the pattern of slipping into obscurity before ever really crawling out of it. Fortunately, old school fans of the obscure can rejoice, as their demo has been released on CD in 2009, and while it was released in limited numbers, it won’t be as difficult to find as the original demo tape. Hail the demonic plague! Hail Blood Spill!!