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Bleeding Through - "The Great Fire" (CD)

Bleeding Through - "The Great Fire" CD cover image

"The Great Fire" track listing:

1. The March (1:44)
2. Faith in Fire (1:57)
3. Goodbye to Death (2:33)
4. Final Hours (3:56)
5. Starving Vultures (2:44)
6. Everything You Love Is Gone (1:49)
7. Walking Dead (4:05)
8. The Devil and Self Doubt (3:02)
9. Step Back in Line (2:47)
10. Trail of Seclusion (3:41)
11. Deaf Ears (2:54)
12. One by One (1:38)
13. Entrenched (3:42)
14. Back to Life (2:38)

Reviewed by on February 20, 2012

"When Bleeding Through succeeds, they really succeed; it's just a shame that Schieppati and company completely forgot all about consistency."

Blackcore. The very word makes purists cringe, and well it should with the more hipster-ish elements among us. Thankfully, I'm not a purist and I've always felt that music should be viewed on its own terms. I've always enjoyed Bleeding Through, not even as a guilty pleasure, but as an underrated band who was hated for being judged as something that it never was. Bleeding Through is not Gorgoroth, nor will Gorgoroth become Bleeding Through simply because the latter band exists.

“The Great Fire” features a harder, more aggressive sound throughout. There are still a few tracks with choruses, like “Final Hours” and “The Devil and Self Doubt,” but overall, this is an album that plays to Bleeding Through's strengths, which were never the more accessible side of the band. Brandan Schieppati was never as good of a singer as he was a screamer, which makes that harder approach suit the band much better than previous attempts at accessibility.

Being less approachable doesn't mean that this is somehow an album aimed at fans of brutal death metal and grindcore; it just means that it's a much more refined endeavor and shouldn't alienate the band's fan base at all. Unfortunately, that also means that there's a lot less diversity and a lot more filler. In fact, eight of the songs (nine if you count the intro) run under three minutes, leading to a lot of under-developed ideas. It's really problematic since there are fourteen tracks, and while there are some gems like “Goodbye to Death” and “Walking Dead,” the filler is incredibly forgettable.

It's not all bad, since Bleeding Through has found a sound that's entirely theirs now that Abigail Williams has switched genres and Becoming the Martyr broke up. Bleeding Through is doing all that they can to really refine themselves. Now that the sound is a bit less accessible due to metalcore no longer being the hottest thing in the metal scene with the advent of djent, there's a lot of room for musical growth, and Bleeding Through has actually managed to progress, instead of stagnate.

Even at the most forgettable moments, I didn't feel like I absolutely hated any part of “The Great Fire.” At its best, like in “Walking Dead,” where the sound alternates between pure hardcore and pure black metal, sounding like two separate bands mashed into one whole, it's incredible and should be considered a step forward for the band. When Bleeding Through succeeds, they really succeed; it's just a shame that Schieppati and company completely forgot all about consistency.

Highs: A harder, more aggressive album for Bleeding Through

Lows: Way too many songs with too much filler

Bottom line: "The Great Fire" has a lot of filler, but is enjoyable overall.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)