Review Summary: The Bled’s third full length, Silent Treatment, is not much different from their first two albums in a featureless collection of songs.
The Bled have come a long way since their debut album Pass the Flask.
It was a hit with the vast majority of the hardcore scene as their exposure seemed to exponentially blow up with each month that passed. The latest proof of The Bled’s increasing exposure has come with the Projekt Revolution tour that featured mainstream hits such as My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park. This increasing publicity can further catapult their name in the music industry. Unfortunately, with their latest album Silent Treatment,
The Bled are quickly running out of ideas and running away from what once made unique.
The album does not take long to explode with “Shadetree Mechanics,” a song that is an energetic explosion of guitar riffs and meticulously constructed drumming. They picked the best choice for the first song because it gives you a glimpse of the pieces of the rest of the album. Unfortunately, with that fact, the rest of the album becomes less and less of a surprise as it goes along. “You Should Be Ashamed Of Myself,” as cheesy lyrically as it is a song title (‘I’m one lucky son of a bitch/ you need to keep your losing streak/ I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve/ does that work for you? It works for me baby’), is another intricately planned hardcore assault. With high-pitched guitar screeches and the occasional audible bass, it maintains the same adrenaline level that “Shadetree Mechanics” left. Equally loud, “Threes Away,” does not have anything that stands out musically. It is loud, has a chorus like the last song (clean singing with an attempt at catchiness), and just sounds far too similar. After which, there is a change in pace and sound with this album with perhaps the best song on the album.
“Asleep On The Front Lines,” is easily the most intimate song on the album. In addition, it is where James Munoz’s vocal work is the best it has ever been. His vocals have progressed light years in the aspect of ‘clean’ singing. “Asleep On The Front Lines” and “The Silver Lining” are one of the few that showcase Munoz’s surprisingly good, non-screamed vocal work. In addition to that, the guitar and bass riffs are actually interesting in the beginning of “Asleep On The Front Lines.” With a unique and melodic guitar riff that eventually pairs up with the second guitar, it sounds strikingly good. Yet, the guitars are slowly drowned out as the song changes back to the normal, heavy intensity level.
Touching back upon Munoz's vocal work, while occasionally having a deeper scream, (“Some Just Vanish”) it has not been refined to be any better than it was. Elsewhere musically, the sixty-one second “Platonic Sleepover Massacre” packs a powerful and beautiful feel, between brutal guitar and drum fills and the ending vocal harmony. “Breathing Room Barricades” and “Some Just Vanish” are two songs with the most technical guitar work The Bled have done so far on the album. They include, what have become apparent, subtle and almost low key breakdowns with noticeable tapping riffs to make the two songs stick out. Besides that point, the album becomes unremarkable and forgettable. “Starving Artiste,” “The Silver Lining,” and “Beheaded My Way” all lack serious instrumental clarity. There are barely any melodies between guitars (unless it is during the chorus where the harmonize power chords, watch out for these guys) which hinder any attempt to make the album to sound gorgeous and technical at the same time.
is an album I want to like, but there is no way around the fact it is uninspiring. Maybe I do not get what they are doing, or what they are aiming for as a band, but I tend to disagree. The biggest problem with this album, that ultimately gives validity to my previous statement, is they did it twice already. Worse than that, this album has barely the amount of standout songs that made Pass the Flask
and Found in the Flood
more than enjoyable. If this was The Bled’s debut album, I would probably think higher of it, but Silent Treatment
is a blur, lost with its repetitive sound that is comparable to their past albums. At times, it is simply a wall of sound, and it is hard to decipher anything. I hope that for their sake, The Bled can recover from a very same-y album and ultimately look past what has become a wall of sound.