The Bled

Silent Treatment

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By the early 21st century, hardcore metal seemed to have been pushed way past its limit -- how many different ways can you scream your head off and have a guitarist stomping around while bashing brutal riffs out of his instrument? Well, one different 'avenue' you can take is by injecting hardcore with a semi-glossy production sheen, which is a fitting description of the third full-length overall by Tucson's the Bled, 2007's Silent Treatment. It's understandable to pass judgment upon hearing such ditties as the album opening "Shadetree Mechanics" -- it appears as though the group is a tried and true hardcore outfit. But dig a bit deeper, and you discover that the chaps have a few surprise detours up their sleeves, especially the overtly melodic -- for them, anyway -- "Asleep on the Frontlines," as well as tracks that merge hardcore verses with emo melodic chorus, such as "Platonic Sleepover Massacre" and "The Silver Lining." Rarely have both underground and mainstream sounds collided as fiercely as they do on Silent Treatment.

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