Bleeding Through - The Great Fire
Rise Records
Metalcore
14 songs (39:10)
Release year: 2012
Bleeding Through
Reviewed by Goat

Representing an even heavier take on the band's already heavy formula of keyboard-enhanced metalcore, Bleeding Through's seventh album is especially vicious. Moving away from the epic, almost melodic black metal feel of their previous album, The Great Fire seems closer to Anaal Nathrakh territory - seriously, listen to the raging Faith In Fire and tell me that's not influenced by the British band! Yet this is joined by a move back towards a more straightforward, purer hardcore sound that is disappointing after the previous ever-present desire to experiment with their sound. That's ultimately probably because I'm a metal fan who wants this essentially hardcore band to be closer to my comfort zone than they are, and helps explain why this album feels like less than it could have been to me. It's certainly the sound of a band not going far from their comfort zone, although the results are not entirely uninteresting; Bleeding Through will always be good at what they do, after all. And being fair, The Great Fire is rarely content with filler. After the aforementioned crushing Faith In Fire, Goodbye To Death punches a sizeable hole with the always odd but always fitting keyboards taking on a carnivalesque feel, and it taking until fourth track Final Hours before a melodic-sung chorus appears. Marta Petersen's keyboards are one of the best features, giving Starving Vultures a tinky class and making Walking Dead's intro practically symphonic black metal.

Songs generally are short and punchy, seamlessly fitting together and giving the album an excellent flow. Even short pieces like the sub-two minutes Everything You Love Is Gone work well, and The Devil And Self Doubt heralds a move towards old-school melodeath that is continued with Step Back In Line, mixing the band's traditional hardcore in well with Sweden's finest export. Deaf Ears begins with some oddly industrialised beats that helps distract your attention from the slightly chug-by-numbers nature of the track, and although Entrenched makes an effort for diversity with a crooning opening, by the time finale Back To Life rolls around (with a nicely hysterical opening soon losing its power) it's hard not to feel that Bleeding Through need to recapture some of that cleverer songwriting that made their past two albums more interesting. The Great Fire is definitely a step backwards from its predecessors, but it's still a snapshot of a good band making good music - I've always enjoyed Bleeding Through's unique brand of metalcore, and although this still isn't the masterpiece I'm still convinced they're capable of, it's an album that fans will enjoy.

Killing Songs :
Faith In Fire, Starving Vultures, The Devil And Self Doubt, Step Back In Line
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Bleeding Through that we have reviewed:
Bleeding Through - Bleeding Through reviewed by Goat and quoted 79 / 100
Bleeding Through - Declaration reviewed by Goat and quoted 76 / 100
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