Bleeding Through - _Declaration_
(Nuclear Blast, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (6 out of 10)
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.


(article published 24/10/2008)

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