If someone asks me what my favorite genres are I will always tell them Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore. If someone asks me who my favorite band is I will always respond “Bleeding Through”. This album, yet again, proves that Bleeding Through is one of the most talented Metalcore bands in existence today. I love how the band has evolved with each sequential release; starting off more along the lines of pure hardcore with their albums “Dust to Ashes” and “Portrait of a Goddess”, their style became more melodic influenced upon the release of “This is Love, This is Murderous”. This trend continued onto “The Truth” and is even stronger on their latest release “Declaration”. I love every track on this album, but my favorite has to be “Sister Charlatan”. The opening melody of that track is simply amazing, and the blend of hardcore, metalcore, and melodic influences truly shine. From the deep grunts, the yells, the higher pitched screams, and the well sung clean vocals, Bleeding Through hits a bulls-eye with amazing accuracy. Another song that is worth listening to is “There Was a Flood”, but then again every track is worth giving a listen. If anyone wishes to listen to a metal album that truly sets itself apart from stereotypes and displays a wide range of talent, both vocally and instrumentally, then look no further than Declaration. A truly stunning album from start to finish.
Where many bands at this stage in their career start talking about melody, accessibility and radio airplay, Bleeding Through resists the trends and walks where many artists fear to tread. Declaration is heavier, darker, angrier, more pissed off, faster and more epic than anything in the band’s already impressive catalog. The follow up to The Truth (2006) and This is Love, This is Murderous (2003), which have sold a combined quarter of a million albums worldwide, was produced by Devin Townsend in Vancouver, British Columbia. Declaration is incredibly dense, layered and full of atmosphere, recalling the finest moments of classic death metal, black metal and hardcore. Bleeding Through has always stood for the broken-hearted and betrayed. Declaration expands further upon that idea. Contrary to earlier reports of a conceptually driven album, Bleeding Through’s latest is their most diverse offering thematically, addressing a variety of topics on tracks like ”There Was a Flood,” ”Germany” and ”Death Anxiety.”
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This Is Love, This Is Murderous got extensive amounts of play from me before I even bought the cd. I loved that album, not a bad song on there. Too bad the guys in the band don’t agree, they say it’s more filler. The whole album was basically a 45 minute scathing letter to whoever broke lead vocalist Brandan Schieppati’s heart, no melodic breaks there. 2006’s The Truth took the band’s sound into dark, yet melodic territory. There was even a ballad (gasp). While that album struck a chord in today’s metal community, there were those that were disappointed due in part because of Brandan’s use of singing. Enter Declaration, Bleeding Through’s new album, which was produced by Strapping Young Lad madman Devin Townsend. All the anger and frustration which permeated This Is Love is on display ten fold here with some extra brutality. One thing that fueled the recording of the album was the troubles the band faced with Trustkill, their label of five years. Unpaid royalties, a reissue of The Truth which the band had no insight whatsoever (they were originally denied this when they asked about doing a reissue), and lack of album funding got in the way. Brandan’s father had to pay to fund the budget. The band almost didn’t hand over the masters for this album until the fees were paid off, and it would have threatened the release. You can count on this being their final release on Trustkill after that fiasco. So, enough already. Go pick this up.
upon listening to “the truth”, I was almost positive that Bleeding Through would have gotten even softer. After all, that is the route that most metal bands go.(i.e. in flames, soilwork, poison the well, 18 visions, ect.) So imagine the look on my face after listening to “Declaration” all the way through. This is deffinately not the softer direction I had anticipated. This is the raw pure hatred and energy and darkness that I would expect from Dimmu Borgir. Brandon’s vocals are primed to perfection throughout the whole album. As far as the soft and clean singing goes, there are only 3 tracks where he does that, and thankfully, those parts are in all of the appropriate places. However, the most deserving of gratitude goes to Marta, she really raised the bar on this one, especially on the final track,”Sister Charlitan”. A keybord solo?, who could ask for more? On a side note, I was also pleased to find out that “Declaration” was produced by my hero Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad, but that really has nothing to to do with it. After listening to the whole album 5 times, I have decided that I’ve finally found a Bleeding Through album that I like more than “Portrait of a Goddess”. BEST BLEEDING THROUGH ALBUM EVER!!!!!!
“This is Love, This is Murderous” lifted Bleeding Through out of murky underground obscurity, and though it was a little uneven and rough around the edges, it was powerful, sincere, and unique. “The Truth” saw them heading down a slightly softer, more accessible road, though they still retained a seething bite. I was worried that they would tone it down even more with “Declaration,” following in the footsteps of All That Remains, In Flames, etc. I was wrong- in fact they went in the complete opposite direction and churned out a scorching masterpiece that makes their previous efforts look like mere sound checks.
Remember how surprised you were with Soulfly’s “Dark Ages?” Everyone was saying “Boy, Max is really mad.” With “Declaration,” every song boils with hatred and fury. Of course, they were always angry- they’re a metal band. But the venom flying off this album isn’t the mournful “b*&%& you broke my heart” hate, it’s way beyond that. With that said, it translates into an album that will doubtless alienate many fans of their earlier work, but I see this as the natural evolution of their sound. They always had a creepy, semi-goth vibe to their thrash/hardcore heaviness, and it’s full throttle here. I would dissect this album as 30% hardcore, 30% death metal/thrash, and 40% black metal. There are grim staccato riffs and blastbeats a-plenty, accompanied by terrifying shrieks and bellows. Imagine if “Waking the Fallen” era Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, and Emperor had a drunken orgy. Actually don’t imagine that, but throw these bands into a meat grinder, turn it up to 11 and you’ve got “Declaration.”
I applaud them for fleeing the well-trod road of commercial accessibility and making an album that will shock and awe their audience with it’s fury, power, and bleakness. There are still a few melodic moments and the breakdowns are in abundance, so it’s still unquestionably Bleeding Through, but they’ve pulled a Barry Bonds and chugged the steriods en masse and become a terrifying metal behemoth. In a year of monster releases (Slipknot, Metallica, Soulfly, Opeth, etc.), “Declaration” stands out as the most pleasant and blistering surprise of the year. Twenty seconds into the second song (the first is an ethereal intro), your jaw will be on the floor, I promise.
Bleeding Through has done it again! With this release they have finally perfected the perfect blend of black metal, metal and hardcore or black-metalcore if there ever was a genre, Bleeding Through started it! Brandon’s vocals are much more diverse on this record, with the low grunts, high screeches and some clean vocals here and there. Marta’s keyboards are incorporated more throughout making them more noticable on this record than the previous three. Big muscular riffs and tight rythym section you would expect. My only complaint would be the single note breakdowns. They are pretty rampant on this record, though it doesn’t take away what is truly great about the album. If anybody thought that they would go the softer or more ‘commercial’ sound after the truth, you couldn’t be anymore wrong. Declaration is more darker, faster and heavier and I’m enjoying the hell out of it!