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Spirals is the latest album from Connecticut’s BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED. While there are some of you out there that only know of Howard Jones as the new singer for KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, Spirals nonetheless serves as an excellent introduction to the singer’s other long-standing musical entity. The appropriately titled “Age of Apocalypse” opens up the record with flurries of fast drum fills and double-bass from Justin Foley, the crushing riffs of Corey Unger and John Lynch, and spitting vocal venom of Jones. “Prion” and “Greetings from the Gallows” continue the assault with a chaotic mixture of MESHUGGAH meets VISION OF DISORDER riffs with some syncopated polyrhythms. Drummer Foley also makes effective use of blastbeats, which he strategically places in between the mosh-friendly breakdowns of the album’s next two tracks. But for all their severity, the band isn’t afraid to show their sensitive side, as the band’s tale of unrequited love in “Uatu” clearly demonstrates. Here, Jones displays his melodic vocal style, which at times resembles Mike Patton’s softer moments. “House of Fists” however brings the listener back in to the mosh pit with plenty of breakdown riffs guaranteed to have the hardcore kids floor-punching and kung-fu fighting with glee. The band also experiments with percussion jams and windchimes on two short instrumentals that further showcase the band’s versatility. With Spirals, BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED has created their most accomplished, varied work to date, as well as their heaviest, and it’s an album that gets better with each repeated listen. (Ferret Music)