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Album Review: The Bled - 'Heat Fetish'

17 March 2010 | 1:38 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

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A common musical yardstick suggests that if a band loses three core and prominent members then the music retrogresses and inevitably suffers. Arizona quintet The Bled certainly turns this generalisation on its head with studio album four entitled ‘Heat Fetish’.

Anyone wondering what Every Time I Die would sound like today if they continued with the styling’s found on ‘Hot Damn’ and ‘Last Night in Town’, might just find the answer on ‘Heat Fetish’. Perhaps it is an overstatement but ‘Heat Fetish’ arguably asserts itself as one of the best examples of heavy post-hardcore out there today.

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Opening track ‘Devolver’ is immediately recognisable while ‘Smoke Breaks’ is a two and a half minute exercise in frantic and discordant riffs coupled with the bellowing vocals of James Munoz. ‘Mouthbreather’ claims the title of the album’s shortest and perhaps heaviest song, while ‘Need New Conspirators’ and ‘Meet Me in the Bone Orchard’ break up the straight laced delivery with brooding introductions and changing tempos.

It’s always going to have a profound effect on the musical output of a band when the rhythm section is completely overhauled. New bass player Brad Murray and drummer Josh Skibar appear to be on a healthy diet of early Norma Jean and more recent Underoath with the band’s heavy sound varied with abstract doses of hardcore.

While we eagerly await and salivate over other highly anticipated heavy releases this year, The Bled have quietly delivered an album that you get the feel will still be as impressive come December as it is now in 2010’s infancy. ‘Heat Fetish’ is a mesh of new Bled, old Bled and everything else in between. Give this one the attention it deserves and have a listen.

‘Heat Fetish’ is sure to be one of 2010’s most surprising releases. The beauty of the album and to a lesser extent the band is that while other groups quietly (or rather loudly, whichever way you want to look at it) hog the media attention, The Bled have spent time crafting one of this year’s most impressive heavy releases. Expectations will not be high going into the album but the impression left will certainly be great.

1. Devolver

2. Mouthbreather

3. Running Through Walls

4. Smoke Breaks

5. Need New Conspirators

6. Shouting Fire in a Crowded Room

7. Needs

8. Meet Me in the Bone Orchard

9. Crowbait

10. When Exiting Your Vehicle

11. Night Errors

12. Crawling Home