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The Great Fire starts with opener The March, which a crushingly heavy intro, laced with thrash influences and the trademark tones of keyboard player, Marta. This leads into Faith In Fire and those brutal screams kick in. The music underneath in fast and unforgiving, with a more death metal influence, but still harnessing those metalcore tones that got me hooked in the first place.
Goodbye to Death is no less pacey, with the guitars and rhythm section sitting quite low in the mix, but coming to the fore in between the screams. They are still able to weave subtle melody into their songs, with enough conviction for it not to sound contrived. Fourth track Final Hours is the first song in which singing is heard, which was another thing that drew me to them in the early days. There are some new found, modern touches to the record, which no doubt come from being part of the Rise Records Roster, but these are kept to a minimum and Bleeding Through are allowed to let their brand of melodic death metal do the talking.
The majority of the songs on The Great Fire are under 3 minutes, so it's obvious that Bleeding Through mean business. Their are short, and impact laden breakdowns are used, which bring an aggressive edge to the record, but without overpowering it and those drums have to be heard to be believed! Gang vocals ring as well, to add a hardcore influence. Walking Dead starts with an epic piano intro, before being engulfed by brutality. This sing really does take me back to the days of This Is Love, This Is Murderous.
The first half of the album flies by, in a whirlwind of riffs and double bass drumming and reveals Bleeding Through settling down and sounding more brutal and assured. The intertwining melody and blasts of aggression complement each other perfectly, and the solo in The Devil and Self Doubt bringing the rock n roll. The skill of each member cannot be disputed, as anyone who can fit these different elements together in this way has to be pretty special. Trail Of Seduction starts with a really cool organ intro, before a classic, uncomplicated guitar solo heralds in Brandan's screams again. The vocal harmonies in the chorus are great as well, and compliment the rest of the track.
As The Great Fire closes with the tracks Entrenched and Back to Life, you are left feeling bludgeoned but ecstatic, having just witnessed Bleeding Through at their best once again. They are able to suck you in with sultry keys and melody, before dragging you down to hell with their death metal ferocity. I don't think we've heard the last of Bleeding Through and here's hoping they make it over to these shores soon.