Bleeding Through may have emerged from two bands at the forefront of the incestuous Orange County hardcore scene – Eighteen Visions and Throwdown – but musically they have about as much in common as Shane Macgowan does with a teetotaller.
Whereas Eighteen Visions have turned into a hardcore version of Stone Temple Pilots, and Throwdown deal in the old skool anger served up by the likes of Hatebreed, Bleeding Through are an altogether more metallic proposition, creating a heady cocktail of death metal, vampirish keyboard touches and the occasional cleanly sung section.
This spooky musical brutality means that Bleeding Through are reasonably unique, which is no mean feat given the current deluge of death metal-influenced “metalcore” bands, and has led to them developing a sizeable cult following.
Thus, Bleeding Through’s fourth album is being eagerly awaited by black-clad moshers everywhere, although the band’s website proclamation that “The Truth will be the most talked about album of 2006″ is a bit of an overly optimistic lie.
Still, The Truth is pretty impressive. For the most part it is simply brutal with super-fast rhythms, crushing guitars and depth-giving keyboards acting as the perfect backdrop to Brandan Schieppati’s gut-churning vocals.
Yet somehow Bleeding Through wring out melodies from the mayhem that become more memorable with repeated listens. Dearly Demented is the embodiment of all these qualities with huge, stomping, staccato beatdowns (something Bleeding Through are very adept at) and a haunting, ghoulish keyboard-led refrain of “we’re coming for you dearly demented!”
Having said that, one of The Truth’s highlights is Line In The Sand – an altogether more reflective number complete with 100% non-vomit vocals, an anthemic chorus and even a cock rock, radio-friendly guitar solo. Even if this song is not your shot of absinthe, it’ll be funny if Stateside radio picks up on it and some unsuspecting middle-of-the-road rock fan buys The Truth and gets the shock of their life when the likes of She’s Gone gallop out of the speakers all over them!
So Bleeding Through do the heaviness expertly and can even rock more conventionally when they want to. However, their weakness lies in where they try to marry the two within the same song. For instance, during For Love And Failing and Return To Sender, the more melodic, clean vocal parts are just too much of a contrast to the shredding, Slayer-sound-poncey-compared-to-this aggression of what goes before and after.
Although Scieppati does fine on the aforementioned Line In The Sand, his singing voice and the accompanying tunes just aren’t quite strong enough to carry off these sections. In other words, Fear Factory‘s Burton C Bell he ain’t, and tracks such as The Pain Killer and Hollywood Prison benefit from a more focused moshpit onslaught.
The Truth finishes surprisingly with a brooding, atmospheric four-minute instrumental almost worthy of the mighty Zao. Which goes to show that, whilst they’re not quite there yet, Bleeding Through do have the ability to become bleeding edge.