Bleeding Through
Portrait of the Goddess


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brandon Burton USER (19 Reviews)
January 31st, 2008 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bleeding Through push the boundaries between metalcore and just plain old metal and get the formula right.

Metalcore has sparked numerous debates about how original each band can be and how all the other ones just sound like a mirror of other bands. The metalcore giants (Converge, Botch, Poison the Well) pride themselves in setting themselves apart with good songwriting and intense vocals to convey the emotion they’re trying to get across. Other bands just rehash another riff or song idea from another band to try and get more money from something that someone has already done. Say what you want about Bleeding Through but I feel that they give the dying genre a good name still. They may not make the most original material but I feel that they succeed in making music that sounds like they actually do enjoy and believe in what they’re playing in. So many bands today sound like they’re just playing…just to be playing but I don’t get this vibe with this band. Being a songwriter myself the one thing that gets me about this band are the vocals. Not necessarily the lyrics, which I feel are just the same thing over and over again, but the vocals. Brandon does a really good job at making the listener feel his pain. No where else is this more prominent than it is in this release. “Portrait of the Goddess” is (technically) the second record from the Orange County based band including the “Dust to Ashes” EP. I feel that they created a record that not only holds its own against an army of sound-alike’s but also comes off as a testament on how to make your record sound as heartfelt as possible.

Now having read the above paragraph you may think that I hold Bleeding Through above bands like Converge or Botch. But in actuality I don’t, I just feel that the genre of metalcore has been all but dead for a long time now and it is refreshing to hear a band that (in the spirit of Converge) seems like they pour their hearts into what they do. Keep that in mind while reading this.

Portrait of the Goddess is an album that starts out furious and honestly does not let up for as long as it is being played. You can tell from the first track entitled “Rise” that this band loves to play and play fast. The short track ends with a breakdown that hits like a ton of bricks, but in this record (as you’ll come to find) the breakdowns are a little overused. Ill get to that later. “Rise” seamlessly flows into the next track entitled “Our Enemies”, this track boasts some bass hits and a very catchy riff to go along with it. One thing that this record seems to bring with it is a sense of emotional angst along with the sheer sense of brutality from the vocals, guitars, and drums bring. “Just Another Pretty Face” keeps this thought going now 4 songs into the album, flowing into what I feel is the best song on the record.

“Savior, Saint, Salvation” starts with an eerie piano intro that quickly morphs in to a wall of sheer sound. Now the thing that makes this song good is actually one of the faults that the album suffers from, only this song boasts it in a much more furious way than any other song on any of their other releases. After a rushing guitar track the song breaks into another piano interlude followed by an ascending guitar line and you can tell a mile away what’s coming. Only this breakdown comes with such ferocity that it commands your attention. Along with Brandon screaming “Take it all back!” it hits with such force it really has to be heard to gain the full respect of the listener. Coming from such a ferocious song you would think the album would let up, but no it launches right into the best riff on the album. “Turns Cold to the Touch” is an amazing song that also commands the listener’s attention with its ferocity. The rest of the record can be summed up, just about the same as the first half of the album, there are just not as many memorable moments from the second half that come right to mind. Now with all the praises I’ve given so far you might think that this record is without its faults, but it definitely suffers from some big ones.

The main one that you will find with listening to this album is that the production is horrible; you can tell that this record did not have the polishing touches that their other albums did. Now some might say that the earlier albums of any band will sound a bit more raw and unpolished than all of their newer releases, but this album is bad. The drums have a weird hum to them as if the room they recorded them in was too big and the sound resonated too much.

The guitars are crunchy, don’t get me wrong, but there is little to no mid to them, making some of the more complex guitar lines sound bogged out like one big sludge sound. (It’s the only way I can explain it.) Also along with the horrible production value, it continues with the vocals. Now in my personal opinion I feel that the low production value adds to the vocal intensity on this particular album, but to some it may distract them away from the overall effect of the record. His highs have a very sort of yell to them and are not the most polished in the genre but like I said, it adds to the intensity of the record. Another fault that plagues this album is the overuse of breakdowns, I do enjoy one here and there but they must be tasteful, some of the ones on this album are just there to kill some time it seems like.

Now one may wonder why I gave this album such a high rating given its faults. I do feel that I can overlook the overuse of breakdowns because this is their first (technically) release that got to the masses and they were still growing as a band and, in many ways, still in their infancy. And as I’ve previously stated I feel the poor production of the vocals only adds to the sheer intensity the record tries to deliver. Altogether this (I feel) is this bands one gem; I haven’t been as impressed with their latter work as I was with this one and judging from their latest work, they wont be returning to this style of playing any time soon, which is a shame.



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user ratings (146)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
beans
January 31st 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im getting a little bit more comfortable writing. criticism is always welcome

BallsToTheWall
January 31st 2008


44606 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was a big Bleeding Through fan in 03/04. Great band then, the only thing holding them back from progressing in the scene were the horrid lyrics. The Boondock Saints quotes in Revenge I Seek and Love Lost In A Hail Of Gunfire was probaly the main attraction for me.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

beans
January 31st 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, i felt that they were going way too melodic on the truth and it strayed away from what 'I' thought they were trying to get across with thier frist two albums, but it still was really good

Confessed2005
January 31st 2008


3314 Comments


I really like this band. Nice review man.

beans
January 31st 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i do too, and thank you ive definetly come a ways since my first one... which completely blew, and im working on redoing it

Wizard
January 31st 2008


19498 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im getting a little bit more comfortable writing.

Its shows. Excellent review.
This is Love, This is Murderous was one the first metalcore albums I ever purchased. This album is quite good as well. The Truth felt too cliched for my tastes.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

beans
January 31st 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed
it felt like they were overly trying to be melodic it was not how i thought they should sound, but thats IMO

thanks man

Metalikane
February 1st 2008


851 Comments


This is their only release I could get into.

Pebster49
February 1st 2008


2993 Comments


I didn't really like there second one, and there last one is decent, I just don't like there lead vocalist at all. Is this any different?

Metalikane
February 1st 2008


851 Comments


It's better musically. Still the same vocalist.

beans
February 1st 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah same vocalist they he just had a more raw performance on this album, his voice is pretty intense on this album

Confessed2005
February 1st 2008


3314 Comments


True. On The Truth it was toned down a bit and slightly over produced. I enjoy all their albums though, they're a relatively consistent band.

Oh and the drummer is sick.

BallsToTheWall
February 1st 2008


44606 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I though Schipeatti was one of the better metalcore vocalists tbh. This Is Love, This Is Murderous was pretty heavy. The Truth was toned down but had great drumming. Tragedy On Empty Streets is still an awesome song.

Confessed2005
February 1st 2008


3314 Comments


As a note, Savior, Saint, Salvation is quite possibly the best thing the band have ever done. Besides Revenge I Seek and the awesome On Wings of Lead.

beans
February 2nd 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah savior, saint, salvation is one of thier best songs i believe, its amazing

TigolBitties
May 5th 2008


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review! i really like this band. Salvation i would say is there best song!!This Message Edited On 05.07.08

beans
June 7th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you, im a pretty big fan of this band for some reason and i think this is thier best release although it has the worst production of any of their albums

beans
August 15th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

revised a little bit
one thing i've noticed in my writing is that it tends to clump together in huge paragraphs and makes for some bad reading
so ill be going through all my other reviews and doing this as well

MonorailCat
October 8th 2008


118 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked the review, and this is my favorite release from them.

BallsToTheWall
February 27th 2010


44606 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man it had been so long since I last listened to Savior, Saint, Salvation. Such a killer song.



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