Although a lot has been said about the stuttering momentum of Bleed From Within’s career thus far, in terms of quality it’s hard to fault anything they have released to date. 2013’s Uprising looked to be the sort of focused and ferocious breakthrough needed to propel the Scottish quintet into the uppermost ranks of our fair isle’s flourishing scene, but another frustrating lapse in action scuppered what should have been a defining chapter for the band, a following period of prolonged inactivity looking like the end of a genuine future force in the UK and beyond. Of late however, with two records in as many years and the beastly creative high of Fracture, Bleed From Within not only look to have finally found their stride, but are once again stamping their authority as serious contenders.
Superficially, nothing much has changed between Fracture and its predecessor (2018’s Era). But this is a deeper and smarter realisation of the band’s established metalcore formula, a collection of deftly-crafted anthems that brim with hooks and breath-snatching dynamics while never being anything less than sinew wrenchingly metal to the bone. Indeed, even when the band do let their melodic instincts take flight, there is little room for any post-Killswitch preening here, those Lamb Of God–sized choruses more often than not delivered behind an avalanche of gnarly, precision-tooled riffs, and although this record finds Bleed From Within turning in their catchiest tunes so far, it’s the sheer ferocity of these songs that’s the real kicker.
‘Fall Away’ boots off like a later day Slipknot cut given a tech-metal nitro boost, ‘Pathfinder’ opens as a Parkway-esque shit-kicker before devolving into a grim, deathcore friendly lava-flow of down-tempo sludge, and closer ‘A Depth That No One Dares’ even, for a few exhilarating seconds, disappears down a black metal rabbithole, replete with some pitiless blasting and ear-piercing shrieks. In truth, each of these ten tracks contain so many money-shot riffs that metalheads of most inclinations will find something to get behind, and given the sort of resolute, full blooded anthemic gusto on display here it’s difficult to see how Fracture wouldn’t turn the head of even the most elite-minded sourpuss. Bleed From Within are back. Let’s pray to Satan they stay with us.
Fracture is out now on Century Media. Order here.
Words: Tony Bliss