Menacing and melodic

Bleed From Within have been experimenting with metalcore since they first hit the ground running in 2009 on their debut album, twisting and forming around a version of modern heavy music that has seen themd slowly but surely build a fanbase upon their solid musical output.

New album Shrine is no different as they warp and explore whatever they choose to jam into the music. I Am Damnation opens with quiet intent before stepping off the ledge into all manner of slightly predictable and angry metalcore, choral chants tucked neatly away towards the end of the track lending a feeling of familiarity via Parkway Drive and the journey their last couple of releases have taken. Follow up Sovereign wastes no time showing off the heavier end of the scale, unafraid that what came before it was more an easing into the album and the rage at society barely hidden under its surface.

Levitate begins with the aim of bringing the aggression into line a little more with its relaxed opening, strings and clean vocals in part. But no one in the band has told vocalist Scott Kennedy that he shouldn’t be doing his best to upset the melodic apple cart by screaming bloody fire over it all at every opportunity. That’s ok: people yelling at me is why I am here, and it’s a fucking brilliant job he does of it.

I really don’t want to give you a track by track run down, but here at track four the band has changed every song enough so far that they have been deserving of what column inches I can give out. Flesh and Stone changes the formula just enough again to rate a glowing mention, opening with a blast beat over melodic keyboard and guitars before really taking off. In another pointer to Parkway, Kennedy includes a similar shouted and rapped rasp through out the verses and the layered clean vocals of guitarist Steven Jones doing enough to bring the track down a notch from the chaotic undertow.

Bleed From Within do hit the dreaded mid-album slump, but not in a way that detracts too much. Instead, with the exception with the oddly placed short dreamy instrumental Skye they just hit their groove, and where the opening of the album is different enough to pull the listener in a myriad of listenable directions, here the band just settles in. It is still heavy, it is still melodic and you never stop banging your head or stomping your foot, but the music just flows by track by track without diverting the attention beyond the guitar solos and keyboard string arrangements that differentiate from track to track.

That is until Paradise. Beginning with ominous keys and a swinging drum beat building slowly into vocals sung through gritted teeth, it builds as it goes, wrapping the album up perfectly. Menacing, melodic, a beast of its own making, everything the band could muster across the entire album is hidden on this track.

1. I Am Damnation
2. Sovereign
3. Levitate
4. Flesh and Stone
5. Invisible Enemy
6. Skye
7. Stand Down
8. Death Defined
9. Shapeshifter
10. Temple of Lunacy
11. Killing Time
12. Paradise