Bleeding Through - Bleeding Through
Rise Records
12 songs (37:36)
Release year: 2010
Bleeding Through
Reviewed by Goat

It’s hard not to like Bleeding Through more and more as time goes by. They’ve gone from being Metalcore also-rans to one of the few bands in the genre to retain any relevance, and their undeniable heavy music borrows enough from the more underground parts of Extreme Metal to make it palatable even to those who disdain the Killswitch Engages of the world. Over a decade old, the band have decided to make album number six their statement of intent, giving it an importance that’s steeped in rock tradition. And, as you’d expect, Bleeding Through is a solid album, although there are slight changes that may annoy those who came to the band through 2008’s excellent Declaration.

First and foremost is that Devin Townsend is not the producer any more, replaced here by Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris who has also worked with Hatebreed, Lamb Of God and Shadows Fall. Yeah, not exactly names that will get many smiles in these parts, but he’s done well for the band – Hevy Devy’s now-signature smooth mechanical sound is replaced by a slightly more organic pound, and the album as a whole sounds more Decapitated than Strapping Young Lad, although obviously the heavy moshpit action and Marta Peterson’s orchestral synths make it quite different to the Decapitated you’re used to. It’s impossible to deny, however, that Bleeding Through’s Brian Leppke especially has been cranking out the riffs for so long that he’s gotten very slick at it, and his guitarmate here (Suicidal Tendencies’ Dave Nessie) more than helps out in that regard. Derek Youngsma gives a kickdrum-heavy performance on the drumstool, as ever, and frontman Brendan Schiepatti has settled into his raspy growl with style.

And really, there aren’t any great surprises to be found here, especially if you’ve followed the band this far. Marta’s keyboards may be pushed to the background by some of the heavier sections, but she still adds a welcome layer of originality and even atmosphere to the band’s sound. Melody rules the day; the singalong chorus to Salvation Never Found is nothing that a million other bands haven’t attempted, but Bleeding Through make it work well, even if only as an introduction to the gang-shouts and blastbeats of Breathing In The Wrath, keyboards taking the helm for brief blackened moments that contrast well with the surrounding riff-strewn chaos. Sorry to go on about these synths, but they are one of the band’s strong points, far from the ridiculous afterthought of Cryptopsy’s The Unspoken King but a vital part of the Bleeding Through sound.

It helps that the band are strong songwriters, too. Quite apart from the plentiful killer riffs and rhythms, these boys and girl have a knack for crafting the sort of melodic death-touched anthem that just begs to be shouted along with, the blackened moments adding vigour and welcome extremity, and even the inevitable breakdowns usually managing to come at exactly the right moments. There are enjoyable bits of widdling on the likes of Divide The Armies and Fifteen Minutes, and the desire to experiment gives us moments like the off-kilter groove of Drag Me To The Ocean and the electronic-backed Slow Your Roll. If you’re here for catchy stomp, fear not, there’s plenty of that too; first track proper Anti-Hero rips along with rage and hardcore intensity, whilst Your Abandonment is nicely epic.

When all is said and done, there are probably a couple too many clean choruses and not enough experimentation on Bleeding Through, but I do genuinely enjoy this band for what they are without the grudging platitudes that I’d feel obliged to give for many a melodeath clone. Fine, their intelligence and maturity has yet to extend to their taste in artwork, but this album is another step closer to the masterpiece that I think them capable of, and is sure to keep discerning core-addicts coming back for more.

Killing Songs :
Anti-Hero, Your Abandonment, Salvation Never Found, Divide The Armies, Drag Me To The Ocean
Goat quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Bleeding Through that we have reviewed:
Bleeding Through - The Great Fire reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Bleeding Through - Declaration reviewed by Goat and quoted 76 / 100
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