Album Review: Bleeding Through - 'The Great Fire'

31 January 2012 | 10:32 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Not BT's finest moment but far from their worst.

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Let's cast our collective minds back to that blissful period, we'll say circa 2004, where metalcore was a burgeoning sub-genre; not yet popularised within the music vocabulary of respective listeners. Breakdowns, blast beats and european inspired melodic death riffs were all the rage and Orange County seemed the new mecca for this stylistic trend. Atreyu had released 'The Curse', Throwdown were tearing pits apart and Bleeding Through were the unassuming frontrunners of a genre not yet subjected to endless ridicule.

While many bands that attempted something similar have come and gone without a whimper or care, Bleeding Through are one outfit that can hold their heads up high. They swam not sank and it seems with each new studio album they remind us just why.

'This Is Love, This Is Murderous' was the groundbreaker for this OC sextet, and follow-up, 2006's 'The Truth' was where it all coalesced to become Bleeding Through's best moment.

Seventh studio album 'The Great Fire' is interesting in a lot of respects. It completes a recent trifecta of full-length releases that differ from the band's earlier offerings. 'Declaration' changed things up with a more thrash, American, distorted sound and after listening to the opening instrumental interlude and first official track 'Faith in Fire' you could be forgiven for thinking this was 'Declaration' mark two.

From an aural sense, this is some of Bleeding Through's heaviest and most brutal work. It's not as breakdown heavy (although they're still clearly there) but what is clear is the black metal influence of the keyboards. Marta Peterson's keys seem to get more haunting and prominent with every album. Although, we probably made the very same claim after analysing 2010's self-titled release too.

'Goodbye to Death' is trademark Bleeding Through and 'Starving Vultures' begins with a rhythm section akin to Cradle of Filth before returning to a thrash, metalcore sound. The band utilises some endearing instrumental openers like that found on 'Trail of Seclusion', 'The Devil and Self Doubt' and 'Entrenched' to good effect. 'One by One' is just bitter and angry.

You scratch your head sometimes that this group receives selective ridicule. Make no mistake, this is no Emmure and it's certainly no Asking Alexandria. This is respectable and thoughtful heavy music, which may not always hit the mark but is still worthy of accord.

'The Great Fire' is consistent but not brilliant. That says it all in its own neat and fashionable way. Unfortunately, at times, it play too close to the former two albums that preceded it. Isolating 'The Great Fire', it's solid but still sounds almost identical to studio albums five and six. For that, we can laud Bleeding Through for their brilliant musical proficiency but we can't award them acclaim for anything overly innovative here.

1. March

2. Faith In Fire

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3. Goodbye To Death

4. Final Hours

5. Starving Vultures

6. Everything You Love Is Gone

7. Walking Dead

8. Devil And Self Doubt

9. Step Back In Line

10. Trail Of Seclusion

11. Deaf Ears

12. One By One

13. Entrenched

14. Back To Life