Glasgow’s Bleed From Within started life as a deathcore band with their debut release in 2009 but evolved into a metalcore groove machine with 2018’s excellent Era album. As a former winner of the Metal Hammer Best New Band gong in 2013, they’re one of Century Media’s big hitters. A new record from these boys is a major event on the calendar, and with much justification.
Fracture is an angry record but in a positive way. The defiant fortitude of Hatebreed is always present but with the snarl of their primary influence, Lamb of God. If you want ten bangers with chunky riffs, technical prowess and a stomp that would make a Glasgow Celtic hooligan smile, then, you’re in the right place. For good measure, they’ve also brought in Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood of Periphery to mix the tracks and record the drums, and what an enhancement it gives to the finished product. Drummer, Ali Richardson, has never sounded as precise or as brutal behind the kit as he does on ‘Utopia’ or ‘For All To See.’
You may write off Bleed From Within if metalcore is not your thing, but that would be a senseless mistake. Opener, ‘The End of All We Know’, is a blistering assault of virtuoso riffing and double-bass triplets that rivals anything from vintage Killswitch Engage. On ‘Pathfinder’ they introduce a Born of Osiris vibe and unload a dive bomb riff in the breakdown to rumble your bowels. Pantera would be proud of ‘Fall Away’, and it’s plausible to imagine Dimebag and Vinnie would sound like this if they were still alive. Once again, vocalist, Scott Kennedy, delivers a fine vitriolic performance; his annunciation is always intelligible, and his rage is on the right side of righteous.
Yet the band are at their best when they incorporate the polyrhythmic edge of Periphery and blast off with the bone-crushing groove of Machine Head. Metalcore might be an outdated description for these Glaswegians when you consider the musicianship on offer here. This is tighter than a hangman’s noose on standout track, ‘Ascend’.
The only criticism of Fracture is the band’s unwillingness to deviate from their four-minute formula of vicious hooks and frenetic choruses, most of which attempt to pull back from the abyss with an uplifting message. On the title track, it’s a success, but we could do with a bit more experimentation in the song structures. Imagine if Metallica did an album with eight variations of ‘Damage Inc’ around the same length and identical tempo. It would be a good idea at first, but you’d be praying for a ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ to keep things fresh.
With a Lamb of God release imminent, the metalcore faithful will look once again to the Virginian bruisers for invigoration, but they should not ignore Bleed From Within. The Glaswegians will find themselves even higher in the festival circuit after this album and can set their eyes on Parkway Drive’s stadium domination as their next goal for the new decade.
Release Date: 29/05/2020
Record Label: Century Media
Standout tracks: The End of All We Know, Fracture, Ascend
Suggested Further Listening: Machine Head – Unto The Locust (2011), Periphery – Periphery (2010), Lamb of God – Sacrament (2006)