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Bleed Again - Momentum

Bleed Again
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 16 May 2017, 9:17 AM

Momentum,” the debut album by BLEED AGAIN is an incredibly frustrating listen. The quintet have gradually built up a reputation over the past few years and in some quarters, are spoken of as the next all-powerful heroes of British Metalcore. Listening to this though, you have to wonder what the fuss is about because while it’s perfectly functional, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Despite a noble effort at shaking things up a bit, they’ve wound up replicating the same scream/sing template that’s been reused repeatedly for the past two decades and BLEED AGAIN do not stand out.

They do at least try to throw more variation into the formula as even stuck in the confines of their chosen genre, there is a discernible distinction between the songs. Some are straight-up bruisers that feature no clean vocals, others are more laidback and radio friendly and there’s even a smattering of decent guitar solos to be had. Unfortunately though, they still fail to truly satisfy and as much as we like cheering on the underdogs, BLEED AGAIN are a long way from snatching the heavyweight title from the champions.

Decimate” for instance is a perfectly respectable opener. It’s one of the heaviest cuts in their arsenal and it gets the job done, but it’s not the devastating uppercut the first track on a Metalcore record should be. “Walk Through The Fire” on the other hand is far more accessible, starting with a “woah-oh” chant straight out of the AFI handbook and speeding into a memorable melodic vocal line. Try as it might though, it rarely lifts itself above being a merely average genre song. Placed this early in the running time it’s easy to think this was intended to be a signature effort, instead it sounds like a BURY TOMORROW B-side.

Business doesn’t improve with “Legacy” either. In fact at this point, “Momentum” takes a steep nosedive from average to rubbish. Most of the riffs are stripped out to make this the most sedate song thus far, but it amounts to no more than a barely-tolerable Post-Hardcore song, complete with every negative Emo stereotype going. All it needs is an accompanying music video where they perform in a run-down house in the desert and it’ll fit every cliché out there.

These first three tracks are all distinctly different from each other and for that at least, BLEED AGAIN deserve some credit. However, not sounding identical doesn’t make them any less workmanlike and there’s a similar vibe to the rest of the album too. There are a few decent moments to be found; “Heart Of Darkness” is a pleasing centrepiece and “Icarus” is the closest they get to crafting a genuinely memorable fist-swinger but as a whole, “Momentum” fails to excite. This is difficult to admit because they’ve clearly poured their hearts into it, but compare this to the recent OUR HOLLOW OUR HOME record or anything BURY TOMORROW have created and it’s hard to recommend. The two piano songs tacked on at the end are completely pointless as well. BLEED AGAIN are a significant distance from being a bad band, but despite a very commendable effort they’ve wound up annoyingly average.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 5
Production: 5
Memorability: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Decimate
2. Walk Through The Fire
3. Legacy
4. Drowning In Dreams
5. Slavery
6. Kurtz
7. Heart Of Darkness
8. White Castle
9. Only We Can Save Us
10. Happy Never After
11. Icarus
12. Through My Eyes
13. Walk Through The Fire (Piano Version)
14. Legacy (Piano Version)
Jon Liffen – Bass
Russell Plowman – Drums
Chris Pratt – Guitars
Simon Williams – Guitars
James Dowson – Vocals 
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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