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Album review: Bleed from Within – Era

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At time of writing, the Western heavy music scene is enjoying a massive renaissance of revisionist metalcore.

Bleed from Within - Era

Led by stalwarts including Code Orange, Loathe and Knocked Loose, the late 2010s’ metalcore movement is returning the subgenre to its raucous ‘90s roots, channelling vintage, punky bruisers like Converge while also adding in a dash of unprecedented, nu metal-ish eclecticism. The manic brand of taut yet adventurous anarchy that makes up modern metalcore exists in direct opposition to the style’s standing ten years ago: back then, it was a more commercial, controversial and pop- and emo-inspired form fronted by Bullet for My Valentine, Bring Me the Horizon and Asking Alexandria.

As a juggernaut that first came together in 2005, the fiery Scotsmen Bleed from Within are a child of metalcore’s popular heyday, but their new, grooving opus Era creates an uncompromising and hellish aural landscape that transcends the triviality of trends. Instead, it would rather spend its time kicking your head off with raw energy and abrasive muscularity.

It may be five years since the last Bleed from Within disc, Uprising (2013), but Era demonstrates a group that has never been more vital, focused or hungry. With its music mixing the dissonant melodies and song-writing of metalcore with the furious consistency of death metal and the rhythmic intensity of groove metal, everything that this band’s fourth album does is purely to create a grinding atmosphere of violent, undying power. Era is unyielding, with its miniscule amount of softer segues (like those found on ‘I Am Oblivion, Part II’ or ‘Alone in the Sun’) only existing to make the next breakdown, riff or chorus all the more primal and enthralling. It is clear that Bleed from Within want the listener to lose their fucking mind while blasting this record out and, in that regard, they are completely successful. It’s hard not to regress into a more instinctual and animalistic state of mind when the surprisingly technical yet guttural rhythms of Ali Richardson and Davie Provan, the thrashing roars of Scott Kennedy or the maniacal guitar shredding of Craig Gowans and newcomer Steven Jones constantly demand your fullest investment.

Bleed from Within seamlessly blend three of extreme music’s most invigorating subgenres to create an oddly addictive 45 minutes. Despite its proud and overt aggression, there’s a weird charm in Era’s comparatively innocent desire to connect with the most fundamental aspect of metal: to craft a fun and visceral time for its followers. It’s not exactly a diverse, postmodern or emotionally sophisticated ride that can redefine its subgenre like Trivium’s Shogun (2008) or Code Orange’s Forever (2017), but its frantic and intricate approach lets Bleed from Within effortlessly slot into a raucous metalcore sect that is currently being helmed by groups with the exact same straight-shooting and timeless ideology as Era’s.

With any luck, this is the release that will bring Bleed from Within the glass ceiling-shattering success that, if there was any justice in the world, they should have received a decade ago.

Era will be available via Century Media Records on 6th April.

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