The year is 2005, I am in my second year at University and I have just met a group of people who, unbeknownst to me at the time, would go on to become friends for the rest of my life (well, they still are now anyway…Hopefully for much longer too).
This group of friends had similar interests to me. They were musicians, they liked their rock and metal and they enjoyed a beer (well some of them did).
They also introduced me to a load of bands I had never heard of and made me feel at home with who I was and what I was in to, musically. I’d go as far as suggesting that they changed everything I knew about music in a very short period of time. One of those bands was Orange County California Hardcore Crew BLEEDING THROUGH(BT). I am not ashamed to admit that the first record of theirs I listened to (‘This is love, This is Murderous’) scared me a little bit. It was faster and more aggressive than anything that I had listened to previously. The speed of the musicianship was scary. The vocal style was scary. The haunting keyboards were scary. It took me a long time to get to a point where I enjoyed listening to it.
But boy am I glad I stuck with it.
The Quintet, now consisting of Brandon Schieppati (Vocals), Brian Leppke (lead Guitar), Ryan Wombacher (Bass & Backing Vocals), Marta Peterson (Keys) and Derek Youngsma (Drums) have been through a few changes and a break up in the last decade. Their demise was keenly felt in the metal community. Some feeling that the demise of a band like BT would result in the genre going firmly underground for a long time. The thing is, it didn’t. In the 4 years they were gone, the genre got stronger, it got faster and it got heavier. All traits BT have shown throughout their career.
So, they decided to make a return in 2018, with their new album ‘Love Will Kill All’. For fans of earlier BT, you might have a bit of adjusting to do, but if you love their Third (The Truth), Fourth (Declaration) and Fifth (Self-Titled) albums…you’re in for a bit of a treat. Whilst ‘Love will Kill All’ has a much more Metalcore edge to it than any of its predecessors, it still has all of the very distinct elements that make it a BT album as well.
Opener ‘Darkness a Feeling I Know’ is an intro track really, just keys and Schieppati singing (you should get used to that by the way, he does a lot of it on this record). First song proper ‘Fade into the Ash’ drives in with big open chords and a keyboard melody before blast beats begin to pummel your ears. An epic chorus with a catchy as hell melody progresses the song nicely until it breaks down around the 1:45 mark. Big, haunting keys from Peterson blend in to a big double kick driven riff. It’s classic BT.
‘End Us’ begins again with Keys and clear vocals before a quite Nu Metal riff bounces in. The verse is a departure from usual BT stuff, jarring chords as opposed to trem picked death metal riffing. The chorus again is a melodic affair in a song which maintains a simple structure, making it a prime candidate for a future single.
‘Cold World’ is full of circle pit friendly riffs and is very reminiscent of many ‘The Truth’ era songs. ‘Dead Eyes’ has a quite fantasy-esque keyboard intro, a keyboard dominated verse and an almost creepy sounding melody in the chorus. It’s the kind of song that once scared me when first listening to ‘This is Love…’ in 2005.
So far you cannot fail to be impressed by the musicianship on display. The word that always springs to mind when listening to a BT album is “Intensity”. Not just in the listening experience, but one would imagine in the performance experience as well. It’s just relentless and it carries on with the very death metal inspired ‘Buried’ which has more than a faint whiff of Cradle of Filth about it.
One discussion that was always had between me and my friends was the Hardcore vs Metalcore debate. I had some friends absolutely adamant that BT are a Hardcore band. Well there is no denying their hardcore roots on ‘No Friend’, which begins with a programmed voice saying “BT 2018” before giving out to a stomp along, two step riff. It’s the most straight up and technically simple song on the album. It’ll likely be a massive hit live.
The release of first single ‘Set me Free’ told everyone that BT were back and it was business (more or less) as usual. It’s arguably one of the heaviest songs on offer with a big chant along chorus.
‘No one from Nowhere’ is another big throw down track that will result in certain mosh pit injuries, ‘Remains’ has a monster of a melody in the chorus but some seriously dissonant and heavy riffs in the verses. ‘Slaves’ is two minutes of pure pent up aggression and album closer ‘Life’ is actually the perfect way of summing up this album. At its heaviest it’s unbelievably heavy. When it’s melodic it’s the most melodic thing BT have ever done.
I will admit I headed in to listening to this album with some trepidation. Over time, BT became one of my favourite bands, but unfortunately the industry and the cynicism involved in it seemed to get to them, leading to their demise. I was worried that their comeback would be diluted and an attempt at something more accessible.
I was wrong. And I am bloody glad I was!
The reality is that there is something here for everyone, from all the different styles BT have included in their music over the years. For that reason, you should buy it and embrace the fact that a band who were so important in making Metal heavy again are back and they mean business.
Check out more from Bleeding Through at the following links:
Love Will Kill All Track List:
Darkness A Feeling I Know
Fade Into The Ash
Set Me Free
No One From Nowhere
Bleeding Through are:
Brandon Schieppati (Vocals)
Brian Leppke (lead Guitar)
Ryan Wombacher (Bass & Backing Vocals)
Marta Peterson (Keys)
Derek Youngsma (Drums)