Will Bleeding Through’s latest effort be another step in the right direction or scare off fans like “The Truth” did? The self titled album released a few years back was an excellent step for the metalcore masters Bleeding Through. To me, “The Great Fire” is the wrong direction. The previous self-titled album was raw and heavy, reminding me of what a mature sounding “Portrait of a Goddess” would be like. However, the quirky keyboards and occational clean vocals are what hampers an otherwise solid release into BT’s catalog.
Brought back to life in the self-titled, Brandan Schieppati is back at his signature ‘hardcore’ sounding screams. It isn’t until ‘Final Hours’ that we hear his singing voice immerge (which is a typical; not bad, not good; metalcore sing), everything else is straight up hardcore angry screams. The keyboard work in ‘Final Hours’ is simple but adds to the atmospheric element of the song and helps compliment the fast guitars and pounding drums. This is one of the few tracks I enjoyed the keyboard work, which unfortunately is one of the only songs with clean singing which detracts from the song. Screams continue and the violence grows in ‘Starving Vultures.’ Again, solid guitar work, much like the self-titled as well as excellent drum work. ‘Starving Vultures’ is also a perfect example of a band creating solid heavy music to be ruined by quirky sounding keyboards. The keyboard work is happy, it just doesn’t fit. ‘The Devil and Self Doubt’ is one of the few songs with a guitar solo in it, and simple enough it is effective and executed well. The drum work is solid through the album from Derek.
The keyboard work is really what sets this album back from the self-titled a few years back. Marta isn’t a bad keyboardist by any means, but it is such a forced sound, half the time it sounds like it doesn’t belong with the music at all. Bleeding Through is somewhere between “The Truth” and “Declaration” with this one, a setback in my eyes to the surprising well put together self-titled. Mediocre is mediocre, and unfortunately it also feels forced and not fresh.