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Bleed from Within - Fracture

Bleed from Within
Fracture
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 24 June 2020, 12:43 PM

In my younger days when I was beginning to discover my tastes, metalcore was the genre that ruled the metal world and my own.   SHADOWS FALL, GOD FORBID, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM and AS I LAY DYING were the biggest bands but just a handful of what was out there in the scene.  Although I still enjoy all those bands, my tastes have grown and grown so much that most of the time I just don’t have a need to listen to anything else coming from the genre.

BLEED FROM WITHIN’s fifth full length “Fracture,” destroys that mindset into tiny little pieces.  It has a very modern sound (especially with the production) but it hearkens back metalcore’s prime.   This is a metalcore album made for people who maybe walked away from the genre for greener pastures because it sounds just like an album I would had jammed in my early twenties. With that said, it isn’t nostalgia that has me singing this album’s praise. In fact, I have never heard one note from any of their previous four albums so I have don’t have any dogs in this race.  Simply put, this is a straight up solid album with many moments of pummeling metallic destruction.

Musically, the band nails the urgent energy of hardcore and the sharp edge of modern heavy metal.  Breakdowns are frequent and you can usually tell when they are about to drop the hammer but for this style I don’t have a problem with that; part of the appeal is the build up and the nervous anticipation of the damage about to be done to the ears. The overall production is very modern; slick, loud, and with a lot of punch.  There could be an argument that it sounds too good but for this style it works well enough.  The mixing is well done too; none of the instruments have to fight each other to be heard and all get equal time in the spotlight.

Scott’s vocals are a solid mix between a throaty yell and a death metal growl—it is a even balance and doesn’t lean too hard on either style.  There are plenty of clean vocals as well, which are done by guitarist Steven Jones.  Fortunately, his voice isn’t whiny at all but instead clear and concise. Craig Gowans is the lead guitarist and he is as equally competent on the instrument but the nature of the music and song compositions don’t lend themselves to any amazing lead work or mind blowing passages of instrumental prowess.  This is an album, and a guitar riff oriented one at that, which grips the throat tight and chokes you to death right before ripping the whole thing apart—I can’t imagine anyone is expecting anything else, at any rate.

The album opens with immediate violence in the form of “The End Of All We Know,” a song that starts off strong but doesn’t let up for a second. Ali and Davie, drums and bass respectively, hammer down the low end with sole purpose of delivering performances of never ending punishment.  The chorus is catchy as hell, as is often the case on the album, because the two vocalists work so well together with each style complimenting the other one.  Around the three minute mark the band shows just how intense they can get with a barrage of drums laying down an earthquake while the guitars change up the riffs, allowing an opening for Scott to growl his ass off.

Into Nothing,” throws in hints of melody over a solid riff that culminate into an intense opening but structured  well enough to allow the rest of the song to naturally grow out of it.  The bulk of the song is quite thrashy, with elements of metallic melody sprinkled throughout but that break down at the 3:44 really blows the song out of the water and is one of the album’s highlights. As it should be, the title track “Fracture,” is another highlight.  The bass takes center stage among the clean guitar notes before the song settles into a mid paced, galloping rhythm where Scott’s vocals shine through amazingly.  After words, the riffs get changed up and alternate between groove and more traditional style, setting up the song for the chorus that is cleans coming from the background and the rough vocals up front.

Ascend” is a barn burner of a track complete with rapid fire riffs, lead guitar that shoots out brazenly among the riffs and a cadence to the rhythm itself that works in tandem with the vocals for full effect. The chorus is among the best of the album and I love how the band just jams out after each round of it. The last track, “A Depth That No One Dares,” is, hands down, the best song on the album.  The djent style riffs gives the song a extra special sort of heaviness and the bass is dense as hell.  The overall energy of the song is hectic and perpetually forward thinking but the best part is 3:15 all the way to the end—just one hell of a way to end not only the song but the album itself.

BLEED FROM WITHIN have crafted one of the better metalcore album’s I’ve heard in quite some time.  I would easily put this up against the latest offerings from the bigger bands like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM and AS I LAY DYING.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The End Of All We Know
2. Pathfinder
3. Into Nothing
4. Fall Away
5. Fracture
6. Night Crossing
7. For All To See
8. Ascend
9. Utopia
10. A Depth That No One Dares
Lineup:
Scott Kennedy – Vocals (Rough)
Ali Richardson – Drums
Craig Gowans – Lead Guitar
Davie Provan – Bass
Steven Jones – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals (Clean)
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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