In recent years the British rock scene has been in fabulous health. Whether it’s veterans Judas Priest releasing the astonishing Firepower or Employed To Serve cementing themselves as the best hardcore band in the UK with The Warmth of a Dying Sun, we’re in a golden age of British rock music. As such it makes sense that bands who started off in the dark ages and never made it anywhere are coming back. Feed The Rhino recently came back with The Silence (which was reviewed here), so now all eyes are on Bleed From Within. Era will be their first album since the fantastic Uprising, which caused many to compare the band to Lamb Of God in a positive fashion. Bleed From Within have had a lot of hype behind them, can Era push them over the top this time around?
As soon as the intro to Clarity, the first track on Era, ends and the pummelling riff comes slamming in, it’s obvious where Bleed From Within are taking their inspiration from this time out. Parkway Drive. This is most apparent in the vocals. They’re so similar I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Bleed From Within replaced their existing vocalist with Winston McCall. That can only be a good thing as Winston is bloody brilliant. The riffing on the album goes further to support the similarity to Parkway, in that it’s meaty, pummelling metalcore, with excellent melodic lead guitar lines. This is all a solid back bone for an album, but it needs more to really stand out as an excellent addition to the current British scene.
Thankfully BFW bring more influences to the table. The Lamb Of God influences are still here in the form of complex but undeniably catchy grooves. Cast Down is a great example, with a busy prechorus groove that is sure to get heads bobbing regardless of who listens to it. I’d have loved if a whole song was built around these grooves, but the closest we get is the spectacular Shiver. This track has a stadium ready chorus followed up by a groove that could easily be found on Wrath. Another great example is on the fucking unstoppable Alone in the Sun, when the inevitable breakdown kicks in, they manage to keep the busyness high whilst maintaining the huge weight. This is a trick right out of the LOG playbook and they should be applauded for pulling it off so well as there are few who manage it so successfully.
The other major influence I hear on Era is Gojira. What do the French avant-garde death metal titans have to do with a British metalcore album? Firstly is the ambition on display on the album, though that could be said of any of the other bands referenced so far in this review. But more importantly is the use of wah in crushingly heavy riffs, specifically in the skull shattering I Am Oblivion, Pt. II. They also are likely another influence on the off-kilter, complex grooves on this album that only become apparent on repeated listens. Without the Gojira influence this album would still be ridiculously good but it elevates this to a whole other level.
Bleed From Within have clearly realised that they needed to prove themselves with their comeback after five years of absence. Not only have the delivered what they needed to, but they’ve exceeded it. This album is fantastic and continues the success of the ongoing fourth wave of brit-rock. BFW never got the success or recognition they deserved the first time around, so hopefully Era will deliver the success they truly deserve.
Highlights: I Am Oblivion, Pt. II, Alone in the Sun, Cast Down, Clarity
Era is out 6th April via Century Media, you can order the album here.
Bleed From Within can be found here: