Bleed From Within

Empire

Written by: BL on 29/05/2010 01:22:58

Screw revision and exams for just one night, it's been so long since I last reviewed a record I have trouble even forming remotely coherent sentences (though my last exam might have something to do with that as well). Sat right at the top of my promo pile is the sophomore followup to the enjoyable but not quite stellar deathcore debut "Humanity" from Bleed From Within, and indeed I have been putting off my review of "Empire" for too long due to work schedules and Iceland pumping volcanic ash in our skies (Thanks). Now is better late than never though so without further delay...

"Empire" is one massive sounding record. "Humanity" seems rather thin and hollow in comparison when you crank up the decibels here. The guitars are thick and punctuate in a pretty visceral and thumping manner in the low end, backed by a vibrant and absorbing bass tone that fills your plate like a steak dinner. The drums are also well sounded and each hit resounds with the guitars coherently to make a convincing surround sound. Production wise I am thoroughly impressed all round, though there is suspicion that if your speakers aren't quite up to it you might hear some minor distortion because the mix is just that overwhelming at times. Right at the top leading the pack is Scott Kennedy's vocal work which is a step up from his last outing. He now mixes up his styles even more than before, and shows far more competent chops this time round. His midrange scream is also greater and more numerous in use this time round, cemeting his compatibility with the music and a natural fit on the album.

The nature of the tracks on show follow similar formulas to those you might have heard on "Humanity", but there is a greater sense of maturity in the songwriting. The album opening tracks "This Is Our Legacy", "The Novelist" and "Last Of Our Kind" are invitingly fresh yet familiar like an old friend welcoming you into their new house. There are still the well executed lead guitar licks that come in from time to time to colour like on "Emperor" and "The Healing" and their all round knack for writing tasty and intricate (but not always the most technical, take as a good thing or bad) riffs extends all the way to the fitting closer "Nothing Left To Lose". This isn't deathcore by the numbers, and their rather reserved nature (not to mention quite melodic) when you compare to the likes of Whitechapel or Suicide Silence in terms of complexity or sheer brutalness may be off putting for genre purists (somewhat an ironic crowd at times). But suffice to say patience and an ear for both well worked melody and intense pummeling backdrops becomes rewarding more often than not in this case.

So when I think about the result on the whole, Bleed From Within have made an album that showcases their own identity more so than ever, and that they seem comfortable with it. I no longer see them shackled with the comparisons drawn with The Black Dahlia Murder and Bring Me The Horizon, but rather as a growing behemoth of melodic deathcore in their own right. Empire is a solid addition to the barren deathcore battleground. Memorable and fist pumping tracks can be found throughout and as a whole despite the details in what has improved and changed being more subtle than in your face, if you enjoyed "Humanity" then "Empire" will come as a natural and superior sucessor.

8

Download: The Novelist, Last Of Our Kind, The Healing
For the fans of: Bring Me The Horizon, The Black Dahlia Murder, Suicide Silence
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.05.2010
Rising Records

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