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Review: 'Bleed Again'

-  Genre: 'Heavy Metal' -  Release Date: '29th October 2021'

Our Rating:
It’s been almost five years since the release of the release of their debut album, ‘Momentum’, which was released worldwide in 2017. In that time, this Brighton metalcore act have cemented their lineup and their sound. And as showcased over the course of eleven tracks, it’s a sound built on dynamics and juxtapositions, with chut-churning sludge-heavy grinding riffs and full-throated growling vocals dominating the verses contrasting with strongly melodic choruses.

When they do the full-throttle, aggressive assault, they go all-out with the pounding rage, rapid-pedal drumming, chords that are basalt slabs of sound, a fill sonic body-slam that hits like a juggernaut. But when they hit those choruses, with the clean vocals, it’s all a bit, well, nice.

They bring the beef with ‘Victim’, with roaring chug-driven riffage and some intricate lead guitar work that leans toward brooding post-metal, but the clean, almost bouncy chorus, while well-executed, just seems to undermine the song’s power.

Just as Nu-Metal always sounded a bit like a lame rap/metal crossover, so it is that so much metalcore sounds like a nu-metal/emo cross, and it’s the cross aspect that’s the stumbling block here. In trying to be two things at once, it ends up feeling like a battle between ball-busting rage and quite tame tuneful radio-friendly levity. You simply cannot please all of the people all of the time, and nor should it be desirable to do so.

On this basis, the instrumental interlude, ‘Reflection’ is one of the album’s strongest tracks – technical, brooding, atmospheric, and not torn between multiple identities, while ‘Cursed’ comes on like post-millennium Pitch Shifter and works well. ‘Sign of Fire’ is more balanced, less schizophrenic, a straight-up alternative rock anthem – and recognising this, they reprise it with an acoustic version at the end of the album. It’s fair enough, but does break the flow and the trajectory of the album, where the five-minute ‘Forgotten Ghosts’ draws the curtain neatly.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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