January 24, 2006 | | 3

Bleeding Through, The Truth

I’m not a purist in the sense that an underground band should remain below the mainstream radar for its entire existence. I’ve got no problem with a band cashing in on their success. I do have issues, however, with those bands that severely alter their sound just to make that quick buck. Bands like Eighteen Visions (a band I really used to enjoy) and No Warning spring quickly to mind. That said, there are a few bands out there that have stuck to their guns and made the minor tweaks and adjustments to their music to make it more polished, and not necessarily more commercial. Bleeding Through is one of those bands.

Even before purchasing and listening to their latest, The Truth, I’d read a few reviews that mentioned that the band had changed their music to appeal to a commercial market. After a couple of rotations in the player, and after listing to Dust to Ashes (one of their older albums), I can flat out say that Bleeding Through has done nothing to alter their sound dramatically. Yes, they’ve continued to move the keyboards from an ambient background role and more to the forefront (started on This Is Love, This Is Murderous), but not nearly enough to make it the primary focus on any one song. There are cleanly sung vocals, but nothing new or different from past records. The band has tinkered ever so slightly with a sound that’s amassed a pretty sizable fan base — adjustments that shouldn’t change an existing fans opinion.

While their core sound hasn’t changed drastically, there is still progression. The last thing a band want’s to do with some success is to remain stagnate. There are still blasts of death metal drumming, huge moshy breakdowns that started infusing themselves on the last album, and Brandan Schieppati intense, guttural growls and screams. If there was anything to complain about on this album, it’s not anything new or unique to this release. Brandon has never been the best crooner in the world. Even with that, this is a damned good album.

For Love and Failing. Brandon sets the tone immediately on the opening track with a guttural “I don’t give a fuck!” before the thrash begins. There is plenty of double bass, death style drumming, and guitar picking ala Black Dahlia Murder. This track is a good representation of the overall sound of the album. There are tortured screams, cleanly sung chorus, crushing breakdowns and eerie keyboards. This is one of the more varied tracks on the album.

Confession. This one starts off with some nice riffing leading into a slower vocal delivery and pace. The tempo changes on this track give you an opportunity to bang your head relentlessly for a couple of notes and then slows a bit to let you catch up. Good stuff.

Love In Slow Motion. For having the words” slow motion” in the title, there is nothing at all slow about this track. It starts off speedy and even through the slower, catchy chorus, it keeps its pace up well. There are some cleanly sung vocals that show a bit more of Brandon’s range in terms of hitting the slightly higher notes. He still has room for improvement on this side of his vocal delivery, but it’s not terrible.

The Pain Killer. “The Pain Killer” is one of the darker sounding and heavier tracks on this release. It is quick paced for the most part, but slows down with a beefy mosh about halfway through.

Kill To Believe. Man, this track is, for lack of a better word, brutal. It’s angry, fast, and intense. Oh, and don’t forget the crushing breakdown around the three minute mark. Add all that with a catchy, melodic chorus and you have the best track on the album.

Dearly Demented. The longest song starts out with some intense drumming and a deeper vocal delivery on Brandon’s part. Tiger Army‘s Nick 13 appears on this one for the chorus. His involvement makes for an interesting dynamic with Brandon’s delivery. There’s plenty of cause on this one to bang your head.

Line In The Sand. It’s a shame that this ballad is even on this album. It’s really not that good of a song and does everything it can to kill the momentum that “Dearly Demented” instilled. I’m sure some fans of the band will find this one enjoyable, but I don’t. Moving on…

She’s Gone. The band redeem themselves with this short (1:30 in length), thrash fueled track sure to be a pick-me-up after the debacle that was “Line In The Sand.” I think they could have done without the cheesey keyboards on this one, but they don’t take away from the power of the music.

Tradgedy Of Empty Streets. This one has that basic Bleeding Through sound. There’s nothing in it that stands out on the album, but it is still a good listen.

Return To Sender. This one starts off slow with a slightly higher toned riff than previous tracks that leads into the vocals. Brandon’s delivery is mid paced in the beginning adding to the head banging factor a bit. The cleaner vocals on this one don’t really fit. I’d rather have had that slower, guttural delivery throughout.

Hollywood Prison. “Hollywood Prison” has a great beat and mosh. It’s pretty straight forward thrash with a minor slowdown during the choruses. This one’s a good lead into the final track.

The Truth. While it’s a good instrumental, this one is a bit anti-climactic in terms of closing out the album. As powerful as the rest of The Truth was, I’d rather be left with a taste for more than slowly lulled away from the momentum and mood of the rest of the tracks.

Even with the additional emphasis on the keyboards and the melodic choruses, there is still a thick core of heavy, dark metal on this album to keep me interested throughout the entire thing. I don’t think it’s their best album and there are a few disappointments on it, but The Truth is a step in the right direction for the band to achieve a more mass market appeal.

Favorite Tracks:
For Love and Failing
Love In Slow Motion
Kill to Believe
Dearly Demented

Additional Notes:
Came packaged with Trustkill Records sampler CD.