Bleeding Through - The Great Fire (Rise Records)

Bleeding Through has lovingly crafted a combination of speed metal, death metal, doom metal, and gothic metal that has tinges of progressive metal thrown in to create a lethal mix that is The Great Fire.
Release Date: 
31 Jan 2012 (All day)

Bleeding Through are back with their newest offering The Great Fire. They've spent quite a lot of time on tour and the album's pace and tone reflect that "live" feel. The Great Fire opens with The March. Atmospheric. Sludgy. Doomy. Something is about to happen. The drums, double kick, blister in. The guitars create an arpeggio of movement. A very gothic keyboard make you go "ooooohhhh". Then the vocals kick in and it's all molten metal! It's a crazy mixture of Mercyful Fate and speed metal. I can hear some pretty nifty lyrics but I keep getting distracted by the sheer force of the music. I don't know what to listen to. The March has some wicked time changes and then upon inspection of the iTunes, I realize I'm on song #3 Goodbye to Death. Was the song I loved Faith in Fire or The March? Does it really matter? Nope because Goodbye to Death has me grinning from ear to ear. It's fast. It drips with violence. Derek Youngsma on drums and Marta Peterson on keyboards have me thoroughly entertained!

A true break in the action alerts me that Final Hours has started. This starts like a basic death speed metal song. It's frenetic in pace but then 50 seconds in the mosh fest descends into that faux emo bull whinge that I truly hate. It only lasts 30 seconds before careening back into a Nosferatu- like sound track. Bleeding Through could write soundtracks to classic 1920s and 1930s German and Russian silent movies. Oh drat. 2:55 brings the emo whinging back. Brandon Schieppati should stick to the snarling growl scream vocals. He excels at this and sounds like every other 20-something emo singer out there when he "sings".  Starving Vultures saves me with more kick ass drumming by Derek and killer keyboards by Marta.

Walking Dead features a sweet opening on piano by Marta before Brian Leppke and David Nassle make your ears bleed by introducing some shredding guitars. The composition of this tune is just killer. Walking Dead is the longest track on the album clocking in at four minutes six seconds. Bleeding Through throw everything but the kitchen sink into this song and it's an aural love fest. I can't stop smiling and banging my head. This song is just pure wickedness.

The Devil and Self Doubt features the first "normal" blistering guitar solo of the album. Brandon sings the chorus on this song but it isn't the emo whinge, which makes me happy because this is one of my favourite tracks on the disk. "...now you find yourself alone again, reaching for your faith, accept your fate...." <shivers> So ominous. This has become my favourite track on the album beating out Walking Dead.

Step Back in Line weaves Derek and Marta's playing and sours to black molten depths. Brandon is just evil on this song. Brian, David, and bass player Ryan Wombacher stealthily creep over each other and you are left breathless by the sheer weight of the track. By contrast, Trail of Seclusion begins and I'm transported back to Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale. The song sort of has rock anthem written on it but then Brandon starts vocalizing and it's metal. But the guitar work is 90s rock anthem and then some emo harmonizing starts and I'm like "groan" so it's a 90s emo rock anthem. I actually stopped the song halfway through and replayed The Devil and Self Doubt before continuing with the rest of The Great Fire.

Deaf Ear is more of a very good thing. Marta creates a mood with keyboard flourishes that compliments the fierce guitar and drumming. One by One is 98 seconds of circle pit madness. Entrenched begins with some lovely guitar work by Brian and David. It's a slow burn beginning and by a minute into the song the pace quickens. Derek alternates between spitfire machine gun drumming and a solid steady doomy presentation. Entrenched is another composition well put together. The Great Fire closes with Back to Life. It's another composition that makes you say, "Dammmmmmmnnnnnn......."