Review Summary: Bleeding Through announce a swift return with one of the best albums of their career.
Whether you were a fan of the band back in the day or not, the news that Bleeding Through were to reform earlier this year for a new album seemed to have completely out of the blue. It wasn't long before this that people on facebook were intrigued by Brendan Schieppati's promotion of his own "Iron Son"-branded gymwear, (the name which was also given to one of his side projects whilst Bleeding Through were on hiatus". Alas, Bleeding Through are back, and by the sounds of comeback album Love will Kill All
, the band aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Love will Kill All
essentially gives you the impression that Bleeding Through are performing as if 2008 had never ended, such is the conviction of the performance on the album. Sure, Bleeding Through never actually announced the hiatus until 2014, and had released a couple of albums more obviously influenced by black metal than anything resembling the metalcore sub-genre, but one listen to Love will Kill All
will soundly remind you of the band in their prime, back when albums like The Truth
allowed Brendan and co. to take great strides to be at the top of the modern metal food chain. Just listen to the fast-paced, immediate likes of "Cold World" and "Dead Eyes", or the more organ-drenched "No One from Nowhere". Whichever style the band decide to go for, it's clear that the performance of every band member is a lot more energetic than anything on, say, The Great Fire
which heralded the downbeat end of a musical career. The guitar work is as poignant and intricate as it can be, the more riff-led "Set Me Free" and "Slave" embracing blastbeats and essentially reflecting the band's still unapologetic penchant for black metal's more atmospheric flourishes.
There are still plenty of moments where the delivery of the rhythm section follows a sound, by-the-numbers formula within metalcore's more traditional tropes, as on first song proper "Fade into the Ash" and "Buried", but even here the focus is clearly on each members' performance of their particular instruments and not the sub-genre being played. Bleeding Through are clearly comfortable as a band here, and you can tell because of how fluent Love will Kill All
seems, even on first listen. Sure, some of the more orchestral elements infecting the otherwise metallic substance of "Dead Eyes" and "No One From Nowhere" threaten to turn Bleeding Through's usual brand of blackened metalcore on its head and instead aim for a gothic metal sound not too far away from what Cradle of Filth were doing a decade ago, but somehow it fits really well. This isn't something you could say about The Great Fire
, because with that effort the band were trying to shoehorn different elements in a none-too-gentle way, instead resulting in a mixed bag. Here, the songwriting and musicianship feels more fluent, immediate and generally easier to get into. Even Marta takes a stab at harmonizing her vocal work with Brandan, resulting in a flawless duet which finishes album closer "Life" on a real high.
Love will Kill All
may not be an album created by Bleeding Through at the peak of their career, but it surely marks the stepping stones to get to that point. It is, essentially, the best album the band could have come up with considering their reformation hasn't been in active for long. A convincing performance and well-rounded display of instrumental confidence is what this comeback album is, more so for the band than their fanbase. It's as if 2008 had never ended.