Bleeding Through - _Declaration_
(Nuclear Blast, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (
With a reputation for live shows that have punters screaming for the relative safety of the bathroom after two songs, _Declaration_ was always going to have its skeptics. But then, given that the mean age of Bleeding Through's typical fan only barely shadows fifteen, I doubt it's something they've lost much sleep over.Choosing to draw a wide berth around much of the almost-death that found its way on to their last album, sizeable chunks of the Devin Townsend-produced _Declaration_ prove surprisingly listenable. The band have elected to shift their focus toward melodies over straightforward bludgeoning, and the synth tinkering of Marta Peterson adds a welcome layer to the music, with songs like "Orange County Blonde & Blue" and lead-in single "Death Anxiety" flirting overtly with Dimmu Borgir's bombastic brand of modern black metal. This, of course, done within the more familiar framework of the metalcore they're known for.Lyrically however, _Declaration_ is significantly less misanthropic than some of its influences, and Brandan Schieppati's paeans to persecution regularly read like the self-involved snivelling of any one of the floppy fringe and skintight jeans brigade. Factor in an over-reliance on nondescript chugging to provide the proverbial glue between numerous segue ways and _Declaration_ never quite gets to be the metallic overture it's undoubtedly aiming to be. On the upside, it is a whole helluva lot better than I would ever have thought the band capable of, and given where my expectations started, that's saying a lot.
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