This is a guest article by IDIOTEQ Texas based contributor Eddie Cantú.
If you were a fan of hardcore between the years of 2005 to 2010, or a follower of the metalcore subgenre (which reached its climatic 15 minutes of critical acclaim at that same time) then chances are that when you were exposed to a band like Bleeding Through you either loved or you hated what you were hearing. Being the perfect tie between these two styles of modern hardcore and even daring to aggregate a keyboard player in the middle of their career when synthesizers were outlandish and taboo, Bleeding Through cultivated a fan base of die-hard fans and if you were patient enough to get it, you loved it too.
Formed in 1999 by vocalist Brandan Schiepatti, (former member of Eighteen Visions and Throwdown) the story of Bleeding Through is the chronicle of continuing the DIY approach of hardcore into the 21st century. Leading up to this 8th full length album, the band’s new label: Sharptone records, released a few “Making-of” promotion videos, one in which Schiepatti rants about the band’s humble beginnings, proclaiming:
“I believe you had to work at being a band when we first started. Because if you weren’t good live you weren’t going to get those people to listen to your record.”
And this is obvious when you look back at the band’s history of extended touring as a means of building its fan-base show to show
This all ended, or so we thought, in 2013 after completing the touring cycle of their 7th album “The Great Fire” (2012) and the band announced their farewell tour for 2014. Many fans were dismayed but equally as many also thought… it was the logical conclusion for a band that gave it their best run for over a decade resulting in the majority of their farewell shows being sold out. This was not the end, however, and maybe this reunion was hinted at when the group started playing benefit shows less than 2 years after saying goodbye to the world. But whatever the reasons may be for the return of the blackened hardcore and metalcore pioneers I for one am happy to have them back!
“Love Will Kill All” was released May 25th via Sharptone Records who hinted at this comeback album at the very beginning of the year. The band expressed in one of their making-of videos how this record is a combination of 2006’s “The Truth”, and 2008’s “Declaration”, being their two stand out, and fan favorite, albums. Now, do I think this is an accurate description of Love Will Kill All? No, not really. This album upon first listen sounds more like the logical successor to The Great Fire in every way from it’s composition to the production and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The album begins with a one minute vocal led introduction track: “Darkness, a Feeling I Know” reminiscent of most Bleeding Through album intros and not unlike Declaration in some ways. The track naturally builds up and transitions smoothly to what I believe is one of the best songs in the bands career to date, and the second single released, “Fade into the Ash”. This track nostalgically incorporates everything that makes the band so great for the long time listeners. It has the hardcore riffs over the relentless blast beats, the synth layered breakdowns, and of course the great and catchy chorus that you can’t help but sing along to by its third repetition. I believe this song will be a live staple in their upcoming tours and beyond if they so wish to. Now I hate to admit it but the rest of Love Will Kill All doesn’t exactly live up to the hype of this 5 star single. There’s the first single the band released “Set Me Free” which captures the heavier aspects of the band but when I’m listening to this album as a full piece of work it’s clear to me that Bleeding Through aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel for the epic comeback album that admittingly I was hoping for.
The majority of the songs are limited to the verse-chorus-verse structure, which is nothing new in their career, or a bad thing specifically (typo of band instead of bad), but it’s the songwriting itself which is lacking, and no amount of production can fix a boring song at its core. To me it sounds like these songs initially were primitve ideas expanded on until they became long enough to be full songs. Don’t get me wrong however, I don’t think the band sounds tired or lacking in performance at any point in this 37 minute release, it’s just that there’s hardly anything interesting happening. I can hear now what the band meant by being influenced by Declaration production-wise but even an album like Declaration had its interesting moments instrumentally beyond just the tremolo picked blast beats. One personal disappointment for me was the lack of the signature ballad song we’ve come to expect on every BT album for over 10 years, although I think this might be a statement in of itself.
Yes, Bleeding Through are coming back with a ferocity and anger that can appeal to any adolescent of the metalcore heyday, but in the end this is exactly who I feel they are solely targeting. Maybe I’m too old to immerse myself fully with the angsty lyrics of heartbreak, loss, and darkness; or maybe I’ve moved on and found other genres of profound lyrical poetry. But this album didn’t do for me what I was really hoping it would do. It hardly feels like there was any second thought to these songs, and there obviously wasn’t any growth during the bands hiatus. I do think all of these songs are more than likely going to get people head banging and moshing at live shows but as a listening experience; laying down in my bed and spacing away with closed eyes, I’m coming back from this album mostly disappointed. I have hope and trust that the 9th album can be better than this.
BLEEDING THROUGH‘s first headlining show in almost 5 years with WINDS OF PLAGUE, LIONHEART, TOO PURE TO DIE, and IRON CURTAIN, and will take place on June 8th at the Observatory in Santa Ana, California. The second show will be alongside HOODS, FOCARA, PRIINCESS KITTEN, and HARD KNOX at The Boardwalk in Orangevale, California on June 30th.