Review Summary: Interesting enough but... something isn't quite right here. Still great neckbreaking music with some minor flaws though.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
I was somewhat conflicted upon hearing this album the first time. On the one hand there's an energy and ferociousness in the music that is quite spellbinding and some of the songs are really great in the sense that you'll get amped up so much that you'll wanna go smash your neighbour's face in for no particular reason. On the other hand the album is riddled with oddities and flaws that take you right back down from the amped-up feeling experienced before.
Formed in 2003 and hailing from Orange County, California, this band certainly tops a lot of their American counterparts. This is their debut album and definately impressive as far as debut albums go. Bleed The Sky play an interesting mix of metalcore mixed with some industrial overtones, frantic vocal delivery with some clean singing as well and groove-laden, kinda melodic yet almost nu-metal like guitar riffing (not nu-metal riffing in a bad way thankfully). It is this uniqueness that separates the band from the rest of their peers and hopefully the band won't drift away into the whole 'what could have been...' trap. Another thing about the guitars is that are virtually no solo's on this album. Hopefully this will be corrected in the future as a short and sweet solo here and there wouldn't do any harm.
The vocals of Noah Robinson are quite intense, ranging from typical normal screaming, to high-pitched shrieking, to low growls, to clean-sung choruses and to almost rap-like machine gun delivery screaming. It's quite good although the clean-singing parts could use some more work (although much better than Bleeding Through's clean-sung parts). The drumming is also way above average, especially for a 'sorta' metalcore band and features a lot of odd time signatures and some great blastbeat pedaling. Could not really hear the bass guitar though so no comment there. Then again, in contrast to the style of music it wouldn't matter much if it was there or not anyway.
The album opens up with first single 'Minion' and is a great way to open up the album as this is one of the killer songs on the album. The energy and '*** *** up' feeling you get from this song is just bloody great. The next song 'Killtank' follows this vibe although in a more direct and vengeful way. The rap-like scream delivery becomes more prominent on this track with noticable industrial bleeps and general craziness going on in the background, great stuff. The title track is one of the weaker songs for me and didn't really move me in any way although there is some interesting guitar work and time changes going on within the song. The album continues along in the same vein until "The Martyr' comes along which is another one of the killer songs. The song starts off slowly with some ambient muttering and then an absolutely wicked guitar riff explodes, leading the song along its almost 6 minute journey. The chorus in the song is great although the lyrics pissed me slighlty off (more of that later) but it is a crushingly great song nonetheless. The following track 'Gated' is the only instrumental on the album but luckily has just enough ambience and some sweet riffing to save it from being a filler track. The last song on here, 'Borrelia Mass', is one of the more disjointed songs on the album. Luckily its disjointed in a good way and showcases how well the band can pull off odd 'start/stop' time signatures and the like. It also features a pretty catchy chorus for such a type of song and at least ends the album on a good note.
The only flaws I have with this album is the odd song structures can make it difficult to digest some of the songs and it will take some repeated listens to fully grasp the good things of the album, which overshadow the bad on every song thankfully but the biggest gripe I have is the lyrics. All the members say thanks to God in the sleeve yet many of the songs feature religous themes and utterly inane lyrics such as "It's your Christ again, is your Christ a friend?", "There is no God, only me" and classic lines like "Silhouette of a wrongful friendship, *** your Temple, Your God is ashamed of your life", etc. By the way, I'm not into any religion at all so maybe I'm just missing something (maybe). I just found the lyrics and themes to be a double-standard against the true beliefs of the band members and there is a lot of room of improvement in that area.
Other than that, this is a great moshmonster of an album and should definately be checked out if you dig bands like 'Chimaira', 'Bleeding Through' and 'Bring Me The Horizon'. I don't really know how to categorize this band as it resembles metalcore and deathcore a lot but is more of a futuristic hybrid between various genres. As long as they don't fall into the whole 'metalcore' trap (thank you Killswitch Engage) then this will be a band to seriously watch out for in the future.
-Varied and intense screams and good clean singing
-Interesting song structures and use of sampled sounds and effects
-Some truly killer songs
-Rap-like vocal delivery might put some people off
-Songs takes some time to fully appreciate