Review Summary: Fuck Off Bleeding Oath
What do Jason Aalon Butler of letlive., Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth and DragonForce all have in common? That’s right, they’ve all been filmed telling an unknown young band called Bleeding Oath to “*** off”. The phrase “*** Off Bleeding Oath” has become somewhat the band’s slogan of sorts recently (in a similar vein to “Primus Sucks”), as their heavy internet campaigns have brought them more into the public eye. Their debut EP, simply called “Bleeding Oath”, is a great step towards them earning the attention, and even maybe some plaudits now.
Despite only containing 2 songs, “Mountains” and “What Fortune Gives” (the latter a re-recording of an old demo), the total length of the songs is over 12 minutes (with both songs over 6 minutes in length), which is longer than Gallows’ “Death Is Birth” EP and almost as long as Trash Talk’s “Eyes & Nines” album, and also much more value for money. The songs feature plenty of different techniques and paces (along with plenty of hooks), and for a tight budget (which, combined with lack of time, helps explain why only 2 songs were recorded) the production is very good.
The first track, “Mountains”, bursts into life immediately with an extremely bouncy and catchy riff. The song has plenty of pace changes and on the most part, the vocals don’t feature too prominently but when they do, Robin Haigh’s screams are well executed. The song has enough changes in sound throughout that it keeps the listener’s attention and is overall an enjoyable experience. One fault could be that such a young and inexperienced band (they formed in 2009) could be trying too hard with its complex riffs, although in fairness they do pull it off.
The second track, “What Fortune Gives”, is a re-recording of a song from the early days, on their demo “Ghosts of the Past”. One standout feature of this song is the bass playing of Matt “Moat” Lowe, who joined the band in 2011 (and did not feature on any demos). The bass is perfectly woven into the song, not drowning out guitarists Micah Douglas and Robin Haigh, and not too quiet either. Harrison White’s drumming is well excecuted on the song, plenty of blastbeats present. The second half of the song is definitely the better half, and the clean singing of Haigh in this newer version of the song is a clear sign of how far the band have progressed in such a short time. The piano outro ends the EP nicely.
One important point is the production of this EP. The vocals aren’t as loud in the mix as other bands prefer to have, and this works very well for Bleeding Oath. Also, while the twin guitar lineup and progressive/extreme metal genre tends to neglect the bass, it is perfectly audible on this EP and if anything is one of the highlights.
This EP is terrific value for money, and is highly recommended for fans of groups such as Opeth, Gojira and perhaps Mastodon. Despite being unsigned, Bleeding Oath have a growing fanbase and have attracted the attention of publications such as Metal Hammer and Terrorizer (being voted the latter’s “Best Unsigned Band of 2011”). Expect big things from this band in the future.
One more thing: *** off Bleeding Oath.
Bleeding Oath are:
Robin Haigh: Vocals, Guitar
Micah Douglas: Guitar
Matt “Moat” Lowe: Bass
Harrison White: Drums