Bleed From Within


Written by: AP on 14/09/2022 13:41:27

I remember stumbling across this Scottish outfit at a dingy pub concert in the English town of Winchester in 2010, and deciding that while their skill of musicianship was impressive, their take on metalcore was lacking in originality. Back then, it felt like every band in the genre was content with simply mimicking the exploits of As I Lay Dying, yet falling short of recreating the elements that actually made the San Diego icons’ music so impactful and memorable. Since those days, many a practitioner of metalcore has begun shifting toward a nu metal-influenced style in chase of innovation — with only a stubborn few still choosing to remain in the wake of those early ‘00s breakthrough artists and dish out staccato riffs as if At the Gates were the only band in existence. Bleed from Within belongs in this category, having never really left the atmosphere, despite having consistently delivered solid metalcore on their five full-length albums and three EPs thus far.

On their sixth and latest offering “Shrine”, there seems to be potential for a course correction. The band’s level of ambition has risen, and as a result, many of the songs on the record also feature bigger and more ambitious compositions that include the deployment of neoclassical, symphonic elements. Of course, such infusions are a popular thing in heavy music today, but augmenting tracks like the opener “I Am Damnation” with quite elegant string arrangements nonetheless helps to breathe some fresh air into Bleed from Within’s otherwise dated sound. These orchestral touches are even more pronounced in the powerful trident that follows soon thereafter in the shape of “Levitate”, “Flesh and Stone” and “Invisible Enemy”, which together form the unquestionable standout segment of the entire record. All of those tracks constitute some of the most grandiose, yet also catchiest material to arrive from the Scottish outfit yet, a fact accentuated by rhythm guitarist Steven ‘Snev’ Jones’ stepping up his clean singing contributions in both frequency and quality as well. It is by his power that the chorus in “Flesh and Stone”, for instance, rivals the very best that Gojira have created.

A curious side effect of the symphonic flavourings is that they highlight the constant, dynamic interplay between Snev and lead guitarist Craig ‘Goonzi’ Gowans. Their exploits have always been one of the driving forces behind this band’s music, a potpourri of detail and texture that now emerges as the dominant actor in ensuring that the songs on “Shrine” are as interesting as they are intense. The Lamb of God-inspired, balls-to-the-wall style riffage in “Stand Down” certainly renders that song into a deliciously aggressive stomper that seems purpose built for walls of death and ensuing moshpits at future concerts. But once the chugs that constitute its ending have rung out, there is unfortunately very little that is truly inspirational until the closer “Paradise” enters with an emotive piano soliloquy and a progressive style of composition that naturally sparks the question: is this the direction Bleed from Within will be pursuing on the eventual follow-up to “Shrine”?

Time will tell, but in the meanwhile, the Glaswegian troop has added another rock solid piece to their growing repertoire. Indeed, if you’re in the mood for some good ol’ classic metalcore done by the books, you can always count on these Scots to deliver. But for them to truly push the boundaries and establish themselves as forerunners of the genre, the quintet would be wise to embrace and amplify the progressive and symphonic touches that rear their head but never quite take over on “Shrine”. The future seems bright for Bleed from Within, now they simply need to chase that horizon and seize it.


Download: Levitate, Flesh and Stone, Invisible Enemy, Paradise
For the fans of: As I Lay Dying, Betraying The Martyrs, Bury Tomorrow, Currents
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.06.2022
Nuclear Blast

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