Review Summary: Bleeding Through continue to blend Orange County tough-guy hardcore with symphonic black metal elements culminating in a somewhat disappointing effort.
Bleeding Through have been one of those bands that seem to be more miss than hit. While 2006's The Truth
was bland and inoffensive watered down metalcore, 2008's Declaration
was surprisingly great, perfecting the bands odd mix of metalcore/hardcore with slight black metal elements. Similar to the recent self titled Bleeding Through
, The Great Fire
continues the descent of the band into almost a deathcore sound, amping up the keyboards in the mix and proving this is not necessarily a great thing.
The keys seem to overpower everything else in the mix and are overused, sometimes to detrimental effect of many songs on the album. Some sections of the keys such as in Walking Dead
, used sparingly and tastefully add listening value to an otherwise forgettable song. The production is muddy, and yet this has always been the case with Bleeding Through. The guitars have always been damn near impossible to distinguish from each other and the severely downtuned power chords that the forgettable guitarists play, are difficult to differentiate. One notable exception is the solo in The Devil and Self Doubt
which is complex and intriguing to listen to. The drumming, which on Declaration
was fantastic, is now for the most part a bland mix of blast beats and faster hardcore patterns with little variation.
Vocalist Brandon Schiepatti's tough guy lyrics on The Great Fire
remain in the same vein as previous albums, concentrating on themes of revenge, cheating ex'sand of course his ever present fascination with death and the beyond. Vocally however, it's impressive he still sounds so good after ten years of barking and screaming when many other vocalists in the industry have lost the ability. There are some very positive things as well. Some of the black metal sections such as in Step Back In Line
add an effective measure of brutality done right. In fact, out of anything the band has done, the symphonic black metal influences are strongest on The Great Fire
. Trail of Seclusion
sounds unlike anything the band has done before, sounding almost like an 80's hair metal throwback mixed with breakdowns and some great tremolo picking. The song lengths are short and for fans of this type of music, they at least keep from meandering.
It seems as if Bleeding Through may eventually end up primarily giving into the black metal side they have shown on the last 3 albums, and this is not a bad thing. The black metal/hardcore style they have developed is somewhat unique and credit is given from this reviewer as The Great Fire
is at least an attempt to do something different from many of the bands peers. Fans of Declaration
may want to give this a listen as it has some familiar, stylistically bludgeoning elements however, unless you really
like Bleeding Through, chances are you will reach the same conclusion I did: this is for the most part, painfully average.