For Fans Of
Telling people that I haven’t been the biggest Bleeding Through fan in the past has often generated the same response as telling people that I’m not a huge fan of the latest Batman film: The Dark Knight. “You gotta be kidding!” and “f**k off” aren’t too uncommon responses. Well – much like the new Batman film – Bleeding Through now throw an Aussie into the mix. Jona Weinhofen of I Killed The Prom Queen fame has stepped into the shoes of Scott Danough after his departure in April last year. As you’d expect when one of our own is involved much more hype is placed on such a release and sadly, the final product doesn’t exceed any of my expectations. This isn’t to say the CD is in any way bad however.
Play Declaration for the first time and one thing becomes obvious almost immediately: this album has suffered from an extremely poor mix. Several issues come to the fore: the kick drum consumes an extremely large frequency range (making the blast beats horrendous to listen to!), the drums/keyboard/vocals have all been cranked too loud and the guitars aren’t nearly as audible as they should be for an uptempo metal band. This may have been a slight problem that arose from mastering, though I can’t help but point the finger at Devin Townsend after hearing brilliant results with Misery Signals and his latest solo effort: Ziltoid The Omniscient.
Production criticisms aside, Declaration shows its full bredth of potential as its opening track Finis Fatalis Spei works its way by means of a lush string section into the album’s unrelenting Declaration. The title track picks up the pace at roughly 215 beats per minute and only shows signs of slowing down during the breakdown. Much like the rest of the album, Declaration has cleverly interwoven melodies provided courtesy of Marta Peterson on the keyboards. The direction provided by the title track is maintained for much of the rest of the album but is not equalled other than on the tracks French Inquisition (which shows hints of Black Dahlia Murder) as well as the somewhat radio friendly Reborn From Isolation which reminds of Killswitch Engage.
Unfortunately the intensity and consistency shown by the first six tracks on the album isn’t maintained throughout as the riffs become a bit stale and the constantly self-pitying lyrics of Brandan Schieppati become monotonous. Conversely, the clean vocals of bassist Ryan Wombacher often help inject a bit of diversity into the tracks that work well alongside the melodic keyboard injections of Peterson – this is demonstrated to great effect on the album closer Sister Charlatan.
A solid effort that shows Bleeding Through honing their songwriting abilities. At just under 50min it is an ideal length for heavy metal release, though tracks towards the latter half of the disc don’t tend to exhibit the same sort of consistency. Keyboard touches by Marta Peterson add a dark element to the music that should help extend the songs longevity.
- Finnis Fatalis Spei – 1:54
- Declaration – 3:47
- Orange County Blonde and Blue – 2:40
- Germany – 3:22
- There Was a Flood – 5:48
- French Inquisition – 4:13
- Reborn from Isolation – 4:31
- Death Anxiety – 3:30
- The Loving Memory of England – 1:27
- Beneath the Grey – 3:32
- Seller’s Market – 2:38
- Sister Charlatan – 8:47
- Self Defeating Anthem – 3.12 (bonus track)