David Zaffiro, Oz Fox
| Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
Dangerously Close, Bloodgood / Detonation
Christian metal, Glam metal
Maranatha! Music, Frontline Records
Barren Cross, Whitecross, Holy Soldier, Sacred Warrior, Deliverance
Bloodgood is a Christian metal band from Seattle, Washington. Originally formed in 1984 and by 1988 represented one of the four largest Christian metal bands (excluding the mainstream success Stryper) alongside Barren Cross, Whitecross, and Leviticus.
Bloodgood became known for their "go-for-broke attitude about showmanship", displaying attitudes and imagery that brought them into collision with some on the extreme Christian right. In a 1998 retrospective, Christian music critic Brian Quincy Newcomb would write that "Bloodgood's ministry and music was a vital stepping stone in the maturing process of Christian rock."
The band formed around the leadership of Michael Bloodgood, who had been active in the local music scene for some time. Directly prior to the formation of Bloodgood, Michael had been involved in a local effort, what he later described as "basic straight-ahead rock." That effort had disbanded by mid 1984 as Michael Bloodgood felt called to build a Christian metal band. The Seattle area at that time was known for metal bands such as TKO, Queensrÿche, and Metal Church, but Bloodgood felt a need to represent Christ to that audience, and the band was the natural way to do so.
In 1985 Bloodgood released a demo, Metal Missionaries, of which they sold over 5,000 copies at concerts. Their 1986 eponymous debut was produced by Darrell Mansfield. While Bloodgood was visually similar to other metal bands at the time, it was distinguished by three elements: the vocals of Les Carlsen, the songwriting of Michael Bloodgood, and the guitar techniques of David Zaffiro. The band's sound was in many ways typical of competent 1980s glam metal bands, but their lyrics were distinctly Christian. Themes often included Armageddon, hope and victory in Christ, and the Grace of living in God, with Biblical language throughout. When asked about the influence of Stryper upon the band, Michael Bloodgood told an interviewer that the band had formed before Stryper became well known, and so they were not a musical influence because they played different styles of metal.
Their first major United States tour was in 1987 and was protested by groups on the extreme Christian right. The band was more popular in Europe than in the United States and they toured the United Kingdom in 1988. This tour featured lead vocalist Les Carlsen portraying Pontius Pilate during the song "Crucify," as well as a graphic, live-action portrayal of Christ being crucified. The band's position on theatrics, as summed up by Carlsen: "Heavy metal lends itself to visuals and drama... They come naturally from the music we write."
After five studio albums and three live releases, the group officially disbanded in 1994. The group reformed in 2006 and have been performing several times a year since in the U.S. and Europe. They are currently working with Oz Fox from Stryper in this newly formed lineup. Michael Bloodgood, the group's bass player and namesake, also released a comparatively mellow worship solo album, The Cross Changes Everything, in early 2008, under the name "Michael Bloodgood and Friends", featuring the guest talents of other musicians, including band mates Les Carlsen, Oz Fox, Paul Jackson, Mark Welling, and Michael's son, Paul Michael Bloodgood on drums and vocals.
The music industry finally recognized the band's contributions and Bloodgood was a 2010 Inductee into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.
In 2010, HM Magazine listed Detonation No. 23 on its Top 100 Christian Rock Albums of All Time list stating that it has "quite an original metal sound". It singles-out "Crucify", "Messiah", "Self-Destruction" and the ballad "Alone in Suicide". Heaven's Metal fanzine ranked it No. 8 on its Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time list.
Michael Bloodgood is currently senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Redmond, Washington. where guest artists such as long time friend and lead singer, Les Carlsen came and performed, other artists such as Don Fraser of Don Fraser & Detour, Randy Stonehill, Buck Storm and Darrell Mansfield have also made appearances at CCR in Redmond, WA.
Les Carlsen was the lead in the Broadway musical Hair, and appeared as a guest vocalist on Intense Live Series, Vol. 2 by Tourniquet. Kevin Whisler was in a Tacoma-based Christian pop-metal band called "Watchmen" before joining Bloodgood. Watchmen released two albums: Fear No Evil in 1988 and Generation in 1990, both on Regency Records.
A full-length documentary, In the Trenches of Rock and Roll is currently in post-production by Bloodygood Pictures featuring exclusive interviews, past and present, music and photos. An album is under-way to coincide with the documentary's release in the late 2013. On October 19, 2013, Bloodgood released the first video, "Lamb of God", from Dangerously Close.Metal Missionaries (1985, cassette demo)
Bloodgood (1986, Frontline Records)
Detonation (1987, Frontline)
Rock In a Hard Place (1988, Frontline)
Out of the Darkness (1989, Intense Records)
Alive In America: Live Volume One (1990, Intense, live)
Shakin' the World: Live Volume Two (1990, Intense, live)
Alive in America: Live Volume One (1990, Intense, live - VHS)
Shakin' the World: Live Volume Two (1990, Intense, live - VHS)
All Stand Together (1991, Broken Records)
The Collection (1991, compilation)
To Germany With Love! (1993, live; later reissued)
Bloodgood Rock Theater (2002, DVD re-issue of Alive in America and Shakin' the World)
Bloodgood: Live in Norway (2009, DVD of the band's performance at the SeaSide Festival in Norway, 2009)
Metal Missionaries 25th Anniversary Edition (2010, B. Goode Records)
Dangerously Close (2013)
CurrentMichael Bloodgood – bass guitar
Les Carlsen - lead vocals
Paul Jackson - guitar (Out of the Darkness, Alive in America, Shakin' the World, All Stand Together, To Germany With Love, Dangerously Close)
Oz Fox - guitar (Live in Norway DVD, Dangerously Close)
Kevin Whisler - drums (Out of the Darkness, Alive in America, Shakin' the World, Dangerously Close)
Former'Tim Heintz - keyboards (for-hire studio musician on All Stand Together)
David Huff – drums (for-hire studio musician on All Stand Together)
David McKay - keyboards (To Germany With Love, toured with band on 1992 U.S. tour)
J.T. Taylor - drums (Bloodgood)
Paul Roraback - drums (To Germany With Love)
Kent Walstead - guitar (toured with band on 1992 U.S. tour)
Craig Church - guitar (Alive in America, Shakin' the World)
David Zaffiro - guitars (Bloodgood, Detonation, Rock In a Hard Place)
Mark Welling - drums (Detonation, Rock in a Hard Place, Live in Norway DVD)
Alone in SuicideDetonation · 1987Bloodgood Wikipedia
Battle of the FleshDetonation · 1987
The MessiahDetonation · 1987