‘Shrine’, the sixth full studio recording by Bleed From Within continues a 3 album streak of envelope pushing mastery by the Glaswegian 5-piece metalcore act. Whilst it’s tempting to say that some distance has been put between BFW’s earlier material and performances, this is perhaps only true insomuch as some audible qualities in frontman Scott Kennedy’s mind-blowingly ferocious vocal style, now more of a husky guttural roar than a shrill screaming, along with the progressively creative guitar work of Craig “Goonzi” Gowans. Ultimately Bleed From Within’s latest retains the same aggression, intensity and lyrical cynicism as always, making for an utterly engaging ride, one that will undoubtedly capture the imagination and attention of pit goers during their upcoming festival appearances across Europe this summer.
Album opener ‘I Am Damnation’ sees BFW embody enormous chorus hooks, multi layered instrumentals and ethereal strings accompanying menacing, furious screaming and complex riffing. Evocative of Parkway Drive’s contemporary work, albeit with a more cynical lyrical edge, the song is equally uplifting as it is pummelling. The band continue to expand their expression through clean vocals juxtaposed against twisted riff work here, leading to a technically rich sound, as is hallmark on most tracks on Shrine.
‘Sovereign’ further showcases this technicality infused writing style, with otherworldly inspired modes and even more guttural gravel to Kennedy’s vocals. The song’s coda closes out with one of the most exciting and unique riff structures heard in metal in years.
You have got to hand it to Bleed From Within for not straying too far from their roots, but all the same their sound has progressed into a beautiful monster on Shrine, allowing the band to showcase their technical prowess and lofty ambitions for where they can take the genre. This is obvious on the empirical ‘Flesh & Stone’ which boasts a cinematic quality, stacked against the enviably catchy ‘Invisible Enemy’.
BFW’s previous albums have been by no means dull, but Shrine I think represents the band having truly found their stride with writing and recording. Every song stands out and overall comes together for a record that demands repeat listens – in summary it feels like the best metalcore release in years – sincere, inventive, mature and brutal.
Shrine arrives June 3rd courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records