Bleed From Within have come a long way from their early deathcore days, which saw them so often compared with early Bring Me The Horizon and Suicide Silence. Their last two albums (Uprising and Era) established them as slick purveyors of a metalcore/groove metal hybrid, which saw them more frequently compared to Lamb of God, Pantera, and Machine Head, a pattern that continues on this, their fifth effort.
Clearly, the band has no time for mucking about as the album opener The End of All We Know is a statement of intent that hits the ground running and doesn’t let up. It is the kind of song weaponised to get the moshpit jumping. It is also set the template for the album. The vicious breakdown, the shredding riffs, that mixture of clean and growling vocal, the vicious slabs of metal interlaced with stabs of melody, a template they have now honed to perfection.
It is not just the opener that doesn’t let up either. There is little in the way of the brakes being put on until the title track appears at the album’s halfway point. Up until then, the record has been a stomping metal maelstrom of the type to put a beaming smile on the face of just about any self-respecting metalhead.
After the midway point, there is no sign of the energy flagging, though, as the band go for the jugular over most of the album’s 42 minutes. There are a couple of numbers cooling things a little down, though, such as Night Crossing and Utopia, but even these have moments where they explode into full-steam-ahead metal assault. The former also features an excellent soloing cameo from Trivium’s Matt Heafy even although his solo doesn’t quite seem to fit the track.
There is a sense throughout the LP that, while anger may be its predominant emotion, there is some uplift here as well. This aspect is ably demonstrated on the likes of Ascend, which is both soaring and stomping. The song provides both cynical critique of the world and a rallying call.
Lyrically, the album is not necessarily anything to write home abouyt. There is a tendency to go for angry metal platitudes such as: “I’ve looked into the eyes of misery / Cover up the truth, spread hypocrisy” (Into Nothing). However, this is easy to overlook, given the level of passion vocalist Scott Kennedy performs it with. Also, to be fair, overall, there does seem to be a step up in songwriting.
In fact, generally, there is a step up here from the musicianship to the scope of the record to the production values. There is a clear sense of intent throughout the album of an attempt to burst into the bigger leagues after a decade-plus of knocking on the door.
Will Fracture see them do it? Quite possibly as the LP is an exhilarating slab of metal. And while it may borrow heavily from sounds of metal past, it still feels current and mostly retains its own identity, although they may need to move beyond their finely tuned metalcore/melodic death/groove metal formula if they are to establish themselves as one of metal’s heavyweights.