Bleeding Through

Declaration

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AllMusic Review by

Bleeding Through stick to their guns on Declaration. The album offers another helping of their already trademark metalcore -- basically, a synthesis of black metal, melodic death, techno-thrash à la Machine Head, and screamo (this is where the groove is). Granted, there's not much actual synthesis going on, as the band veers between the styles, tilting from all-out extreme onslaughts to catchier moments and back, but it works, if not immediately. Bleeding Through push the blastbeats and vocals from hell to the forefront of most songs in a blunt effort to stun the audience; however, although getting over the initial shock requires additional listens, it can reveal that there's really a lot of interesting stuff happening on Declaration -- Bleeding Through may not have invented musical brutality, but they've studied it inside out and know how to go from channeling Dimmu Borgir to a rumbling riff-o-rama and occasional clean vocals without sounding forced. Still, this is far from the catchiest album even within the metal scene (there's really a lot of blastbeats), and besides, between the eerie background synths and the angsty screaming, Declaration is a very serious album (in fact, it's a concept record about being away from home), which may make it sound kind of old-fashioned in a world powered by irony. But then again, this is a conscious choice for the band, and, well, somebody's gotta be real earnest about things. All in all, Declaration shows Bleeding Through in their prime, although if they have anything to declare as a musical unit it's that they remain exactly where they were, with all the bonuses and shortcomings of that.

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