Bleeding Through

The Truth

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Bleeding Through could be setting themselves up for disaster with a third album bearing the portentous title of The Truth, but for a band whose uncompromising ways have arguably garnered them as many lovers as haters over the years, while nevertheless selling a few hundred thousand units, perhaps displaying brash confidence is as good a tactic as any. And, why not? On many levels such an attitude is entirely justified by songs like "For Love and Failing" and "Confession," which, based on sheer musicianship, put even the most accomplished of metal bands (never mind the hardcore/emo/screamo set Bleeding Through arose from) to utter shame. See hyper-speed cuts like "Love in Slow Motion," "Kill to Believe," and the Gothenburg-fueled "Tragedy of Empty," which prove Bleeding Through's blastbeat mettle against the fiercest of black metal bands; but it's their clever use of such extreme measures to contrast more conventional post-emo devices like clean singing, wicked melodies, and wildcard Marta's handy keyboard contributions that give them that supplementary edge over the competition. Having said all that, like much of said competition, The Truth also reaffirms Bleeding Through's disturbingly formulaic use of "explosive entrance/groove-heavy bridge/pop-friendly chorus" structures, and infuriatingly one-dimensional reliance on victimized, self-pitying lyrics of a middle school maturity level ("but hey, that's what the kids wanna hear," they'll say). The distinctly more thoughtful and mid-paced "Streets" and the surprising ballad "Line in the Sand" gratefully buck this sonic trend a bit, while on "Dearly Demented" and, to a lesser degree, "Return to Sender," singer Brandan Schieppati finally fights back against this heartless-hormone-psycho-beeeotch who's been tormenting his love life so, and presumably inspiring his eye-shadowed Mike Ness mini-me complex. But, all kidding and back-and-forths aside (see what was meant by the love/hate comment?), it's when they arrive at last to closing track "The Truth" that most lofty expectations ultimately smack against the unforgiving brick wall of realization. For, what exactly is the title song's much-anticipated message? There isn't one: it's an instrumental -- arrrgh! Clearly, this album is a mixed affair, so while listeners continue to make up their minds on whether they love or hate Bleeding Through, perhaps the sextet will contemplate on whether, next time, they'll continue to play it safe and lead the herd, or take a chance and actually break out of the pack.

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