Back after a five-year hiatus are Glasgow’s Bleed From Within with their new record Era (Century Media), and while it may have been an agonising wait it has been well worth it. The band themselves have always been greatly underappreciated; their back catalogue is impressive and they have never really stuck to the same formula throughout their career.
This trend continues with the new record which gives heavy nods to mid-2000’s Metalcore bands like Unearth and Killswitch Engage and yet still retains the technicality of their earlier output. Now featuring new guitarist Steven Jones the band are looking to put a more straight-up metal groove into the songs. The results of all these changes are quite simply astounding and songs like ‘Bed Of Snakes’ are built on humungous riffs underpinned by what is one of the best rhythm sections I have heard in a long, long time. The drumming throughout just pummels every bone in your body and the bass is so locked in at times it gave me flashbacks to Far Beyond Driven era Pantera mixed with the pace and ferociousness of Decapitated.
One could argue that the scream/sing dynamic can water some bands songs down but BFW show a lot of restraint and the clean vocals are only present on a couple of songs meaning they are never overdone, being carefully placed so as to serve the song in the right way. Elsewhere vocalist Scott Kennedy has hit a stride not seen on their other records. ‘Afterlife’ shows how metal vocals can elevate a song above a good riff as they take charge and show the instruments where to go.
Bleed From Within have breathed life into a kind of metal that has long become stagnant and they have done this on their own terms. No backing down and no comprising can be found within Era, they have shown here just what can be done if you really believe in the music you’re writing.
One of the standout releases of the year.