Intoxicating obsession

Base: Baden-Württemberg • Germany
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Title: Ad Astra
FFO: Emperor, Enslaved, Behemoth
Format: Album
Label: Massacre
Release: April 22, 2022

• 3rd album by the grand visionary German act
• Massive improvement on the two predecessors
• Captivating songs, overwhelmingly intense performance

[ Shatterer Of Worlds • Music Video ]

Mastermind Ron Merz tells about:
"Filmed in an abandoned NATO bunker by Alexander Krull of Mastersound Entertainment, this video is about the aftermath of nuclear war. When I was writing the lyrics, I would never have thought that it would be so relevant again ..."

[ Fire, Ash And Dust • Lyric Video ]

[ Neon Gods • Lyric Video ]

Musically, Mainman Ron Merz has worked on further refining the characteristics of BLOODRED without giving up the typical sound. The album features massive Death Metal songs alongside epic hymns with more than a touch of Black, memorable melodies and complex song structures. All of this culminates in the title song, which with a playing time of over 11 minutes combines all typical BLOODRED characteristics and absolutely wants to challenge the listeners. Each song can stand for itself on the new album and yet "Ad Astra" is a consistent album that all fans of Extreme Metal should definitely keep an eye on.

Ron Merz
[ Pic: Stefan Heilemann • Heilemania ]

The world is on fire, in the actual but also in the figurative sense! And so the album is lyrically more up-to-date than ever and takes up many developments from the past year. Regardless of whether it is the increasing tipping of the climate and all of its effects, social developments, the resurgence of authoritarian regimes and the diverse aftereffects of the Covid-19 pandemic, all of this has an impact on the lyrics of the album. Nevertheless, "Ad Astra" should also spread a certain hope, for which the album title also stands. The way to the stars stands for the fact that mankind can develop further if you tackle the challenges together.

The album cover represents this conflict, in which it shows scorched earth and smoke, which then seamlessly merges into a cosmic nebula in the partially visible starry sky. The cover-artwork was painted by US-based artist Samuel Nelson exclusively for BLOODRED. The overall artwork and the photography was once again done by the internationally renowned artist Stefan Heilemann, who once again captured and implemented the mood of the album very well.

[ Artwork: Samuel Nelson • Stefan Heilemann ]

The album was recorded again in collaboration with Alexander Krull as producer in his Mastersound Studio (Guitars & Bass were recorded at BLDRD Studio) and again a further development of the sound is clearly audible. Despite all the aggressiveness and the necessary punch, there is room for each instrument and the small subtleties that allow you to discover new things again and again, even after repeated listening.

Once again, Ron Merz is solely responsible for the songwriting and the lyrics. In addition, he takes on guitar, bass and vocals again. On the drums, Joris Nijenhuis once again shows his skills and versatility, giving the album its own note. His precise playing drives the songs forward where necessary, the subtleties of his playing support the songs on the other hand in an excellent way. Both contribute to the fact that "Ad Astra" represents another milestone in the development of BLOODRED.

On his second album with the mystical title "The Raven’s Shadow" BLOODRED mainman Ron Merz celebrates his optimally proven BLACKENED DEATH METAL mix, which he has been refining successful as a one-man-project since 2009.

On April 26, 2020 Ron officially released "Hör Den Tod" as the first single release out of the new work in the form of a lyric video:

Connoisseurs know: the absolutely determined guitarist and singer does his thing here again like only few protagonists in the heavy music guild. In addition, the man with a penchant for pithy breakwater riffs keeps his team loyal:
Alexander Krull, known from Atrocity and Leaves' Eyes, who has repeatedly done excellent work for BLOODRED in his Mastersound Studio, is again responsible for the hammer-strong and also enormously dashing overall sound of "The Raven’s Shadow".

Ron Merz
[ Pic: Stefan Heilemann • Heilemania ]

The overpowering drum attacks were again recorded by the highly clocked Joris Nijenhuis, who is also beating the skins for Atrocity and Leaves' Eyes.

[ Artwork: Stefan Heilemann • Heilemania ]

The successor to the 2016 debut album "Nemesis" shines with sovereign material, for which a deliberate attempt was made to break up the usual structures of the songs - the classic 'verse-refrain-strophe-refrain' pattern is therefore rarely found on this album. The Scandinavian-grimpy appearing structures could therefore be made as varied as permanently interesting.

"Blood On Thy Hands" pays homage to the unforgotten cult sound of old Hypocrisy. The nine compositions on "The Raven’s Shadow" show the assiduous work of the unswerving idealist from Baden-Württemberg at the highest level so far.

Thus, besides hauntingly gripping thunderstorms of rhythm, especially the melodies have been polished to be much more catchy and lasting. Captivatingly majestic songs like the invigoratingly triumphant "We Who Ruled The North" bear witness to this in uplifting perfection.

Ron Merz
[ Pic: Stefan Heilemann • Heilemania ]

Even with inevitably catchy power numbers like "Shadow Warrior" and "Immense Hall Of Agony" BLOODRED 2020 presents itself both internationally fully competitive and in a trendless, timeless appearance. And in the wonderfully culminating final track "The Northstar Whispers (To The Blacksmith's Son)" the talent for impressive, dramatic epic reveals itself. 

Apropos, timeless: the raven has been regarded as a messenger of death, especially in the Nordic myths and legends, from time immemorial until today - an exciting topic, which can be found in many a song on the new album.
BLOODRED pays homage to this truly wonderful and all too often misunderstood animal in a musically captivating way - may the berserk tracks on "The Raven’s Shadow" lift their dark wings to the heights of the scene just as mystically and fascinatingly! (Markus Eck)

BLOODRED • Online:


01. Shatterer Of Worlds 04:57
02. With Existence Comes Suffering 04:05
03. Neon Gods 04:45
04. All Is Bleak (Bonus Track) 07:08
05. United/Divided 03:21
06. Twilight Falls 05:25
07. Fire, Ash And Dust 05:00
08. Realm Of Silence 05:43
09. Ad Astra 11:20

total: 50:24 min.

Ron Merz • Vocals, Guitars, Bass Joris Nijenhuis • Drums

2014 • The Lost Ones • EP
2016 • Nemesis • Full-length
2020 • The Raven's Shadow • Full-length
2022 • Ad Astra • Full-length

BLOODRED is available for interviews via phone, Skype, Zoom & email