Leave This World Breathing

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North Carolina's Bloodjinn, on its second full-length, tackles the East Coast metalcore sound: a mixture of '80s thrash metal, groove-laden meat-and-potatoes N.Y.C. hardcore, and big, bloody chunks of Slayer -- a sound more convincingly and engagingly embraced by predecessors Botch and (early) Cave-In, as well as contemporaries Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. In other words, Leave This World Breathing is a well-executed, if derivative, genre exercise laden with multiple tempo changes and drastic mood swings that careen from atonal rhythmic jolts jammed with steel-wristed riffs to dense, gelatinous melody, all smeared with a one-dimensional throaty vocal howl. Intro track "Modern Machines" melds into "A Decade of Forced Existence" with brutal death metal momentum (reference: Seasons in the Abyss), but the album then deviates into run-of-the-mill territory where memorable moments are few and far between. "The Last Cry" is an ill-advised "ballad," complete with ethereal guitars, thin drum pitter-patters, and painfully off-key vocals, and the epic-suite title track, clocking in at nearly 13 minutes, betrays the band's ambition, which, regretfully, isn't matched by its songwriting skills. A few inspired riffs do not an enticing album make, and even though Bloodjinn shows some promise, Leave This World Breathing finds the band right square in the middle of the pack.

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