The Bled
Silent Treatment


3.5
great

Review

by Mark A. USER (47 Reviews)
December 8th, 2012 | 51 replies | 1,395 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Clean singing and impassioned screaming have always presented an interesting dynamic in music. Clean vocals allow for the instruments in a song to start off slowly, building up to a frenetic break where the screaming comes in and introduces cacophony into something that started off so soothing. It really represents the way that many people are feeling in this day and age; we don’t really know how to handle the daily stresses that impede our lives and slowly take control. Before we realize it, we are lamenting on how we have no control. Sometimes, though, these realizations hit us so quickly that it makes our heads spin. The Bled personify this feeling very well aurally. The vocal performance of James Munoz is arresting, as he goes from singing to shouting to screaming in the span of any given song. There are moments that are incredibly beautiful and longing, and his vocals are perfectly suited for making the change from the quieter moments to the heavier breaks that they are inevitably built for. The Bled are schizophrenic on “The Silent Treatment”, changing from melodic lulls to an all-out sonic assault. Clean, quiet guitar lines seamlessly transition into huge walls of distortion and unique breakdowns. While the element of experimentation is certainly here, it would be incredibly hard to argue that their previous release “Found in the Flood” did not pack the same sort of punch. Even without the band venturing into more creative territory, this is a band that is creating albums that reek unapologetically of passion and urgency. They could have created something a bit more commercial, something that is more palatable for the untrained ear; instead they pushed on with many moments of viciously arranged material that lends more to their heavier roots.

The atmospheric elements that the band embraces are really what set them apart from the majority of the bands that have a similar sound. “Shade Tree Mechanics” is a perfect opener to this album, as it gives a good sampling of what is to come. After a dissonant opening to the song, the song opens up with an extremely melodic and surprisingly catchy chorus. As the album continues on, the faults of the album become a bit more glaring; the songs begin to bleed together, and the album itself is a bit front-loaded. “Threes Away” is another highlight song, as it starts off loud and aggressive. James Munoz takes no prisoners, and all of the sudden, we are treated to a hushed Munoz whispering part of the chorus as arpeggiated guitars swirl around his voice. The transition of the heavier parts to the slower parts is both affecting and incredibly successful songwriting-wise. At the end of “Threes Away”, there is a beautiful ambient outro that bleeds perfectly into another stellar song “Asleep on the Frontlines”. This is the most melodic song on the record, and instead of the band switching back and forth between aggressive and melodic, they gently build up to a frenzied breakdown. While it is not generally how the band’s songs progress, it works very well here as it starts with an interesting guitar line with just the right amount of delay. As the song progresses, the drums and bass keep up a start and stop pattern, as the guitar line burns slowly and stays constant with the vocals.

The Bled also have a very good understanding of how to craft songs that play to their strengths. They are not afraid to create songs that have a short run time, which shows a great amount of maturity. It allows those songs to shine without overstaying their welcome (“Platonic Sleepover Massacre”, “Silver Lining”). With all of the great songs on this album, there are also ones that unfortunately don’t add much to the continuity. Quite frankly, they are incredibly generic and more derivative than anything else in their discography. “Starving Artiste” plods along at a medium pace, with no instruments standing out and Munoz phoning in one of his least varied vocal performances. “Some Just Vanish” doesn’t get interesting until the end of the song, as the whispered vocals are matching with an equally intimate-sounding guitar. “Breathing Room Barricades” is a late-album surprise, showing an ability to mesh melodic vocals with just the right amount of restraint.

“The Silent Treatment” is The Bled’s finest release to date, and while I was personally hoping for a more drastic leap forward in terms of experimentation and maturity after the excellent “Found in the Flood”, there is still quite a bit to be excited about here. They prove here that they have the ability to write songs that push the envelope and challenge the notion that the scream/sing dynamic is for the most part a gimmick to win two different sets of fans. Here's to hoping Munoz & co. create a full album's worth of amazing songs the next time around.

Recommended Songs:
Asleep at the Frontlines
Threes Away
Breathing Room Barricades



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user ratings (242)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
McDiggitz (4.5)
Don't count your chickens before they become a hardcore band and rock....

Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (2.5)
The Bled’s third full length, Silent Treatment, is not much different from their first two albums...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
December 8th 2012



12117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this band's best. good review

Digging: He Is Legend - Heavy Fruit

sixdegrees
December 8th 2012



16907 Comments


umm Pass the Flask

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

DotEight
December 8th 2012



5482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I liked PtF better, but still a good album.

DotEight
December 8th 2012



5482 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"umm Pass the Flask" [2]

Calc
December 8th 2012



12117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aww we all different..

Adabelle
December 8th 2012



4253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album, as good as Pass The Flask

wacknizzle
December 8th 2012



12896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. This Bled album is sweet, I love the atmospherics they added to their sound on it.

Digging: Racebannon - Satan's Kickin' Yr Dick In

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Thanks, Calc. I agree, but just barely so. I love Found in the Flood and The Silent Treatment, and Silent Treatment just barely edges it out. Andcas, for the longest time I thought the same; there is something eerie about FitF and I didn't think ST was as good.

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Thanks, wacknizzle. The songs that are good on here are really good. It's the small effects that really made them stand out.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2012



19625 Comments


good review man still gotta hear these guys. pos

Digging: The Who - Tommy

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Thanks, man! This is the album to start with, imo.

wacknizzle
December 8th 2012



12896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it definitely works for songs like Breathing Room Barricades, they sort of have a dredg vibe to me.

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Yeah, I love dredg and the way that the bled add a sense of atmosphere is what makes them unique and draws comparisons to bands of different genres.

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


I love Antarctica, I actually heard FitF before PtF and that song really sold me on these guys.

wacknizzle
December 8th 2012



12896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Antarctica and Daylight Bombings are both equally awesome imo.

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Agreed. It's a strong cd anyway; they are both strong 3.5's to me.

XingKing
December 8th 2012



10329 Comments


It's always weird to think of bands from your shithole state being popular.

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Haha where are these guys/you from?

thelastsignal
December 8th 2012



1267 Comments


Andcas, I completely agree. That's probably what drove them to break up. It sucks. They were one of my favorite live acts to see.

XingKing
December 8th 2012



10329 Comments


Arizona! I think I saw them live almost ten years ago.



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