Bleed From Within – ‘Fracture’

By Dave Stewart

Glaswegian metal heavy-hitters Bleed From Within are evolving at a phenomenal pace. Long gone are the days of banshee-like screaming and classic deathcore vibes, gently eased into the background in favour of monolithic metal riffs, blistering solos, and menacing, biting vocals. They’ve become like the UK’s answer to Lamb Of God – an influence they’ve had from the very beginning that stepped into the foreground on 2013’s ‘Uprising’, and turned a lot of heads on their 2018 album ‘Era’.

New offering ‘Fracture’ picks up exactly where they left off, all their weaponry fully locked and loaded as they unleash aural armageddon. The ten tracks that it contains are all forceful, vicious and staggeringly venomous, swinging punches at all your most tender areas that will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark.

They launch that first attack without warning, charging straight into the fray with lead single ‘The End Of All We Know’. Driven by an air-pumping riff and pit-inducing rage, this opener will get your heart racing as the soaring chorus and thunderous breakdowns get you nicely warmed up for everything that follows. Shortly after, the opening moments of ‘Pathfinder’ will make you think you’ve mistakenly plugged your headphones into a GameBoy. As soon as the fury is fully unleashed, though, you’ll be greeted with a thrash-influenced diamond, perfectly brought to a close by a riff with more weight behind it than Thor’s hammer. These are the first two tracks of ten, and they’re just getting started.

The unapologetically catchy ‘Night Crossing’ will have you immediately head-banging as the ominous verses explode into elegant choruses, all complimented by a sensational guest solo spot from Trivium front man Matt Heafy. The at times SikTh-sounding vibes of ‘Fall Away’ will have you reaching for your best circle-pitting shoes, the unforgiving pace swirling you into a frenzy within seconds as the guitar work has you frantically strumming your air guitar. There’s the infectiously bouncy anthem ‘Utopia’, the addictive groove-ridden ‘For All To See’, the grimace-inducing riff giant ‘Ascend’ – Bleed From Within are using every trick in their book and executing them perfectly.

The highlight on this record is the closing track, which sees the band flex every musical muscle they’ve trained over the years. ‘A Depth That No One Cares’ is a masterclass in metal songwriting, drawing influence from every corner of the genre – from thrash and metalcore, to melodeath and blistering black metal. Complete with flawless tapping sections, a monolithic chorus and a blast beat section that completely takes you off guard, it’s an incredibly strong way to close this aggression-fest of a record. No half measures, no time for rest or recovery, just 43 minutes of balls to the wall metal.

If you loved ‘Era’ and came here wanting to hear some more of the same, ‘Fracture’ will satisfy your fix tenfold. It’s a metal lovers dream. There are no fillers, no ballads, no interludes – it’s a collection of their finest and most unrelenting work to date with an energy surging through it unlike anything else they’ve released before. It manages to balance persistent darkness and fierceness alongside captivating and uplifting moments with almost no effort at all. To put it simply, this record is a complete triumph.

Bleed From Within are one of those bands that just keep getting better with time. Every evolution of their sound transcends the previous one, continuously building on what they’ve already created and reinforcing it with more power and ferocity. ‘Fracture’ is simply exquisite, channelling all their rage and anguish into a compelling and punishing package. A wonderfully weighty album from one of the hidden gems of metal.

DAVE STEWART

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