Release Date: 25th May 2018
Right, let me tell you what I think about metalcore as a genre; it’s very on-and-off. Much like nu-metal before it, there’s a lot of good stuff, but there’s also a lot of shite. Personally, my metal tastes lie further away from the more “symphonic”, “melodic”, or as I put it, “melodramatic” business that a lot of metalcore seems to encompass. With Bleeding Through, their hardcore and death influences seemed to beef that up a bit more, even if I’m no particular fan of the band. After a full break-up in 2014, the band returns four years later with Love Will Kill All, their eighth studio release and first on SharpTone.
Lead single “Fade Into The Ash” is a perfect capsulation of the entire feel and atmosphere of this album — as well as the epitome of its instrumental variation. After a small orchesteral intro, this is what kicks Love Will Kill All off. What we’ve got here is a textbook gothic sound, with it’s liberal use of organs and symphonic strings. This really helps to up the grandeur of the album, but it also leads me to think that this is gonna be at risk of getting very overblown, very quickly.
As I was expecting, this is the sound that pervades Bleeding Through‘s latest release. However, while they do rely on this melodramatic sound, there is some reliable songwriting going on here too, the lack of variation being made up for in a sense that this band knows their genre and knows it well. The instrumentals on these tracks are all in the same vein and sound pretty similar, but they’re well-constructed all the same.
As with too many metal albums nowadays, the bass is virtually non-existent in the mix. It doesn’t help that the parts written are so uninspired that they basically mirror the guitar parts in every way. It’s a far stretch from legends like Geezer or ‘Arris, and it’s a shame we don’t see more 4-stringers venturing outside the predictable in their songwriting.
Vocally, frontman Brandan Schieppati gives a diverse mix of guttural, melodic and scream singing. While I can applaud this for its technical proficiency, I’m not sure how well it hits the ear — my ear, at least. Particularly, I do seem to have an issue with his melodic singing voice, as it’s just so characteristically metalcore. I’m bored, mate, give me something new. That being said, that guttural voice is wonderfully brutal, so keep on with that.
Same goes for the drumming here. There’s no doubt that Derek Youngsma knows his way around the kit. However, the sheer volume of blast beats here are gonna send me to sleep and, every once or twice, he’ll hit a fill that, while all cool and techy, almost doesn’t quite fit within the song, like it’s a bit too much.
With the melodies here, we are hit by a triple threat of guitars, strings and keys. The guitars obviously dominate, and have a good, almost death metal tone to them, but, once again, seem to be uninspired from a songwriting standpoint. The keys and strings here help to alleviate this to some extent, adding a welcome bit of variety to the whole deal, but do bring the band ever closer to the symphonic, Dracula metal that just don’t float my boat.
Overall, Bleeding Through‘s eighth studio album isn’t my jam. I may not be a metalcore super computer, but even I know that there’s better out there. This could be due to the lack anything that fresh and exciting. I’m enjoying the more brutal aspects of what’s going on here, with the hard-hitting vocal styles and guitar tones. However, there’s too much in the way of melodrama and gothic influences for me to really get down to it. If that’s your bag though, have at it.
Gooduns’: Fade Into The Ash, Cold World
For fans of: I Killed The Prom Queen, Bring Me The Horizon